Measles outbreak in Borno hits 9,000

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The measles outbreak in Maiduguri, Borno’s capital, has risen to nearly 9,000 cases since last year, with 597 new cases confirmed in January.

Mostly affected by the surge in the cases of measles are communities at the city outskirts and populated areas, health officials said.

Dr Jombo Okoli, Medical Activity Manager at Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) at Gwange Primary Health Clinic in Maiduguri, informed the Daily Sun that measles is spreading throughout the city.

“Measles is one of the most contagious infection and can be spread easily. This is why there is community spread now and children are mostly affected. We’ve recorded about 800 cases this year and over 6,000 cases last year,” he disclosed.

More children with suspected case of measles, were brought to the facility during Daily Sun visit on Monday.

Okoli said about 2,000 patients with severe condition, mostly children, have been admitted and treated with many of them discharged.

He explained that measles often start with fever, catarrh and cough which last for four days before rashes start appearing on the face as the second stage.
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He urged mothers, parents and guardians to take their children to nearby health facility for immediate attention. He said measles though preventable, could trigger worse health situation.

“It can affect every parts of the body,” he disclosed, adding that measles lead to loss of appetite with risk of malnutrition.

He said measles is spread through air by droplets from cough or sneezes of infected persons.

A total of 597 cases were reported in January with 184 admitted for complications and one percent death rate, according to MSF an international charity organisation focussing on humanitarian and medical care.