Measles Outbreak: Eastern Cape Department of Health on high alert

BY TAI CHISHAKWE - DECEMBER 15, 2014

The Eastern Cape Department of Health on Monday said that it is on high alert after the National Health Department has confirmed a measles outbreak in five provinces.

According to the National Department of Health, a measles outbreak has hit -- Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape and Western Cape. However, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) warned there has been an increase in laboratory-confirmed measles cases in two more provinces, the Eastern Cape and Free State.

Still, Eastern Cape Department of Health Provincial Spokesperson, Sizwe Kupelo, told the SABC that no cases had been reported in the province as yet although his department is putting teams together to keep an eye on the disease. 

"We're preparing ourselves activating Outbreak Response Teams throughout province, those in districts and in Bhisho but those will provide support and ensure availability,” he said.

“We're aware that a number of Eastern Cape residents in other provinces will be coming here and we know measles may be imported in that way hence our preparedness to ensure we deal with any possibility."

Outbreak

National Department of Health Spokesperson, Joe Maila, said that about 49 laboratory confirmed measles cases have been noted since the beginning of this year.

He said that the majority of the cases were reported in the Northern Cape with 18 measles detected up-to-date. 

Maila says the department is working tirelessly with NICD to contain the virus and ensure that it is not spreading.

“Well indeed there is break-out measles in South Africa. However, we are doing everything to that effect to make sure that we contain it. So that it should not spread at the level that people are getting worried," he said.

"Therefore we need to make sure that when parents see that they are little bit of changes about their children they must take them in for treatment so that we must be able to know what is going on.

“We are working closely with the NICD which are able to track what are the developments in the country - and we believe that we are under control." 

Read more on this: FEARS OF MEASLES OUTBREAK – SPORADIC CASES REPORTED IN EASTERN CAPE