Measles Outbreak In Congo: Nearly 5,000 Dead From Measles Outbreak

Measles Outbreak In Congo: Nearly 5,000 Dead From Measles Outbreak

Unfortunately, a measles outbreak in Dr Congo seems to be spreading, with close to a quarter of a million people infected this year alone.

Measles is a childhood disease that can be prevented by vaccination. The disease is caused by a virus. Authorities say that in 2019, measles has killed close to 5,000 people in DR Congo. Unfortunately, a measles outbreak in DR Congo seems to be spreading, with close to a quarter of a million people infected this year alone. Also, the Nigerian Center for Disease Control reported a similar number of cases. Since the beginning of 2019, there have been almost 6,000 cases of measles and 15 deaths in Nigeria. That's twice as much as last year for the same period.

Measles outbreak in Dr Congo: Authorities say that in 2019 measles has killed close to 5,000 people

measles outbreak in dr congo

Measles is an infectious disease that can easily spread if not stopped. That's what makes the disease quite dangerous. It can spread through a community within a short period of time. The outbreak in DR Congo has been crowned the world's largest and fastest-moving epidemic. That title was given by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This is because, in the last fifteen months, measles has killed more than twice the number of people who died of Ebola.

outbreak in congo

Consequently, the Congolese government and WHO came together to fight the outbreak. In September, they started an emergency vaccination program that aimed to vaccinate over 800,000 children. However, they encountered different challenges during the process. Challenges included poor infrastructure, lack of access to health care, and attacks on healthcare centres. Still, four million children got vaccinated. But experts have warned that the effort isn't enough to stop the disease from spreading. This is because that number is less than half of the total people in the country.

When should you take the measles vaccine?

measles outbreak in dr congo

Experts recommend that everyone should get vaccinated for protection against measles. For children, the first dose should be given between 12 to 15 months of age. While the second dose should be given at 4 through 6 years of age. Essentially, teenagers and adults need to make sure their vaccines are up to date. Also, secondary school students and those in school settings should also make sure they are vaccinated. Adults should receive two doses of vaccines, with 28 days in-between.

However, if you're unsure whether you've been vaccinated before, go ahead and take another dose. There's no harm in that. The real harm is if you've not been vaccinated at all. Without being vaccinated, you leave yourself open to the virus. Meaning that you could get infected with measles.

BBC

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Written by

Lydia Ume