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German measles outbreak confirmed in Agago
  • Written by URN

The ministry of health has confirmed an outbreak of Germany measles also known as Rubella in Agago district in northern Uganda.

The disease has so far affected 42 children in Kalongo town, mainly pupils at Dr Ambrosoli primary school and Kingsway nursery and primary school.

Dr Emmanuel Otto, the Agago district health officer says seven other recorded cases are from the communities in the township. He however, says no new case has been recorded since the outbreak was confirmed on April 27, 2017.

According to Dr Otto, they haven't registered any case among adults, adding that the infected children are receiving treatment in Dr Ambrosoli memorial hospital in Kalongo town. 

According to Health Online, rubella is a viral infection that causes a red rash on the body. It presents with fever and swollen lymph nodes. The infection can spread from person to person through contact with droplets from an infected person's sneeze or cough. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) notes that the rash generally first appears on the face and then spreads to the rest of the body, and lasts about three days.

Other symptoms that may occur 1-5 days before the rash appears include: a low-grade fever, headache, mild pink eye (redness or swelling of the white of the eye), general discomfort, swollen and enlarged lymph nodes, cough and runny nose. Dr Otto said the infected children are in stable condition, saying some of them might be soon discharged. 

According to Dr Otto surveillance, health education, and supportive medication are being administered. He says there is no specific medicine to treat rubella or make the disease go away faster but supportive treatment can be administered.

Dr Immaculate Ampeire, a senior medical officer in the ministry of health has issued response guideline asking health workers to start taking of blood specimens from suspected measles patients for the next 30 days.

"Cases occurring within the next 30 days are expected to be due to rubella through epidemiological linkage to the last laboratory confirmed rubella case," she said.

Ampeire notes that the entire district will resume case-based laboratory backed measles surveillance from May 27. She said there is no need for alarm since "Rubella is usually a mild infection in children".

She however says adult rubella is serious and causes complications especially during the first trimester of pregnancy such as foetal death, premature delivery, and serious birth defects.

She urges Agago district health department to strengthen routine immunization services to maintain the zero laboratory confirmed measles cases by ensuring that all outreaches are operational.


Gwokto La'Kitgum
"Even a small dog can piss on a tall building" Jim Hightower

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