On Wednesday, the City of Johannesburg urged parents and caregivers to ensure that their children are vaccinated, after a high alert for measles was issued
“Parents and community members can help [avoid an outbreak of measles] by ensuring that all children are immunised against measles at the correct ages,” mayoral committee member for health Mpho Phalatse said in a statement.
“Any child who is suspected to be suffering from measles should be taken to the nearest health facility for examination and investigation.”
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) issued a health alert in late January following a measles outbreak in Stellenbosch, Western Cape.
The City of Johannesburg said nine cases of measles have been reported in the city thus far. Those at the highest risk of contracting measles are unvaccinated young children and pregnant women, the city said.
Phalatse said according to the World Health Organisation, measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children, even though a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available.
“During 2000 to 2015, measles vaccination prevented 20,3 million deaths worldwide,” Phalatse said.