Drive to immunise 3,1million babies

THE KwaZulu-Natal health department will immunise about 3,1million babies for measles.

THE KwaZulu-Natal health department will immunise about 3,1million babies for measles.

"Today (Monday) the department starts a mass immunisation campaign targeting all children between the ages of six months to 15 years against measles and polio," Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo's spokesperson Chris Maxon said in a statement.

The first round of the campaign would end on April 23.

The second phase, which includes vitamin A shots and deworming, would be rolled out between May 24 and 28.

"The aim is to immunise close to 3,1million children in KwaZulu-Natal."

Maxon said there were measles outbreaks in various provinces.

"At this stage KwaZulu-Natal has 1238 confirmed measles cases as of October 2009," he said.

"The disease outbreak is affecting all the districts except ILembe and Ugu."

Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus.

The first sign is usually a high fever which begins about 10 to 12 days after exposure to the virus.

A runny nose, a cough, red and watery eyes and small white spots inside the cheeks can develop in the initial stage.

After several days a rash erupts, usually on the face and upper neck. - Sapa

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