Measles in South Africa: Understanding the Risks and Importance of Vaccination
Measles is a highly contagious viral illness that can cause serious health complications, including pneumonia and encephalitis. In South Africa, measles is still a major public health concern, particularly in communities where vaccination rates are low.
Symptoms of measles include fever, runny nose, cough, koplik spots (white spots in the mouth), conjunctivitis/pink eye and a rash that spreads over the body. The virus is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Measles can be prevented through vaccination. The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is highly effective at preventing the disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that all children receive two doses of the vaccine as part of their routine childhood vaccinations.
In South Africa, the Department of Health recommends that all children receive their first dose of the MMR vaccine at 9 months and the second at 18 months.
Despite the availability of the vaccine, measles cases continue to be reported in South Africa. In 2019, the country experienced a large outbreak of the disease. There also have increasing reports of reported cases. This highlights the need for continued efforts to improve vaccination coverage and raise awareness about the importance of vaccination.
It is important for individuals to be aware of the symptoms of measles and seek medical attention if they suspect they have been infected. Parents should also ensure that their children are up-to-date with their vaccinations to protect them from the disease.
Measles is a serious public health concern in South Africa, it is important to raise awareness of the risks and symptoms of the disease and the importance of vaccination to prevent it from spreading. Stay informed and protect yourself and your loved ones from this preventable disease.
Get your baby vaccinated for measles at Mediwell Mom and Baby Clinic in Dainfern, Fourways. Call us at 011 300 2900 or book online on our website: www.mediwell.co.za/contact. For your convenience, you can now also WhatsApp us at 078 982 7284 to make a booking.