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Friday, March 22, 2013

Measles Update - Cases from US, UK & Nigeria

A ProMED-mail post
Archive Number: 20130317.1591011

UK (Merseyside)
Date: Thu 14 Mar 2013
Source: The St Helens Reporter [edited]

St Helens is one of the worst areas to be affected by the measles outbreak, health chiefs say. There were 35 confirmed cases of the illness in the town last year [2012] compared with none in 2011, according to statistics from the Health Protection Agency (HPA). The surge is believed to be continuing this year [2013], with 2 cases seen already in 2013. However, St Helens isn't the worst affected area of Merseyside. Liverpool saw 313 cases last year and has already reported 11 in 2013.

Liz Gaulton, director of public health and local NHS, said: "In 2012, Merseyside was one of the worst hit areas for measles, and we have already had 2 cases confirmed this year [2013]. Measles is often associated with being a disease of the past. Many people are unaware that it is a dangerous infection that can have serious complications. In severe cases, measles can kill, as it spreads very easily and can affect anyone who is not protected.

Outbreaks elsewhere in the country have put medics on alert for people displaying symptoms of the condition, which in some cases can be fatal. Although often seen as a minor condition, there is no cure for measles once it has been contracted, and hundreds have already been hospitalised elsewhere in the country. It can be vaccinated against by children being up to date with their MMR immunisations, as the HPA says the disease is mainly spreading among unvaccinated schoolchildren.

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness, and it can prove deadly. Children, students, and pregnant women are most vulnerable, although it can affect anyone. It is passed from human to human and is usually spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The early signs include fever, a cough, sore eyes, and a red rash.

Nigeria (Kaduna)
Date: Thu 14 Mar 2013
Source: News 24 Nigeria [edited]

The Kaduna state government said on Thursday [14 Mar 2013] that it has recorded 500 cases of measles in 19 local government areas of the state from December last year [2012] to date. Dr Julius Gajere, the state's Rapid Response Team leader, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna that no deaths had been recorded.

He said 83 per cent of the reported cases were in 6 local government areas. Gajere gave the names of the affected local governments as Igabi, Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Ikara, Makarfi, and Kubau. He also said that 96 per cent of the cases had manifested in children between 9 to 59 months old. "The main clinical features of the disease are fever, cough, conjunctivitis, runny nose, and maculopapular rashes. He advised the affected local councils to provide drugs, water, and clean environments to communities to prevent further spread of the disease. Gajere blamed the situation on low routine immunisation in the affected areas and urged the residents to embrace the immunisation programme.

Date: Thu 14 Mar 2013
Soure: Basking Ridge Patch [abbreviated & edited]

The New Jersey Department of Health has confirmed one case of measles in Somerset County and is investigating 2 other reported cases of measles in people determined to be at locations in the area from 6 to 12 Mar 2013.

In the 1st case, confirmed on 13 Mar 2013, a local health department was made aware of a medical center employee who developed fever and a rash on 8 Mar 2013. This person had contact with a known laboratory-confirmed case of measles in an unvaccinated person who had traveled internationally. A 2nd case was identified on 13 Mar 2013 in a person who also had contact with a laboratory-confirmed case. This 2nd individual has not yet been confirmed to have measles.

"If you're planning an international trip, the World Health Organization recommends that adults or adolescents unsure of their immune status get a dose of measles vaccine before traveling," 

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