General

Measles outbreak in Savannakhet: “make sure your children are vaccinated” say health authorities

The Ministry of Health and Savannakhet Provincial Health Department are urging parents to make sure their children are vaccinated against measles.

Over 200 children have already become ill with measles and new cases are being reported every day.

All the measles cases so far have been in Kayson and Sepon districts, but health officials expect other districts may soon be hit.

Measles is a highly infectious disease. Unvaccinated children have a high risk of catching it. Measles starts with a fever and then a rash.

It makes some children very ill and can lead to blindness, pneumonia, brain damage or even death.

Young children, especially those under five, are most vulnerable to getting severely ill. There is a very safe and highly effective vaccine that protects children against measles.

This vaccination is available for free under Lao PDR’s National Immunization Programme.

Measles makes children very sick and can be deadly. The only way to be sure your children are protected is to get them vaccinated. Check with your nearest Health Centre or ask your village health volunteers about the quickest and easiest way to get your children vaccinated, said Dr Rattanaxay Phetsavanh, Director-General of the Department of Communicable Disease Control at the Ministry of Health.

Even if your child has had the vaccine before, get them vaccinated again. It will protect them from this outbreak. The measles vaccine is very safe and highly effective, said the doctor.

Measles is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of an infected person. Initial symptoms, which usually appear 10�12 days after infection, include high fever, a runny nose, and red eyes.

Several days later, a rash develops, starting on the face and upper neck and gradually spreading downwards. Young children, and especially those who are underfed, can become severely ill.

When this happens, measles can lead to blindness, pneumonia, brain damage or even death.

If a child in your family develops fever, coughing and a rash contact your village health volunteer. Make sure you inform your local Health Centre about your child so that they can be ready to help if needed.

Source: Lao News Agency