Botswana: The Ministry of Health informs members of the public that measles and rubella cases have been reported in the country. So far, a total of thirteen (13) cases of measles and one (1) case of rubella have been detected in Greater Gaborone DHMT, Kweneng DHMT, Greater Francistown DHMT, Tutume DHMT, Serowe/Palapye DHMT and Greater Selebi Phikwe DHMT.
Alongside its partners, the ministry of Botswana has already activated its rapid response teams to investigate, manage and conduct contact tracing of confirmed cases.
Measles is a viral respiratory disease that is transmitted by air when an infected person coughs or sneezes and can be contracted at any age. It is a vaccine preventable disease which can be deadly, particularly for children who have missed routine childhood immunizations. The main symptoms of the disease include fever and rash.
However, other infected people may, in addition to these, experience a runny nose, cough, red and watery eyes and white sores in the mouth. As already alluded to, serious complications are more common in unvaccinated and immunocompromised children.
The most serious complications include blindness, encephalitis (an infection that causes brain swelling), severe diarrhoea and related dehydration, as well as an ear infection or severe respiratory infections such as pneumonia. Best hygiene practices are highly recommended as a precautionary measure.
The ministry advises members of the public not to panic but remain vigilant since all processes are in place to detect and control the spread of this disease. The ministry assures members of the public that it has a strong surveillance system in place which is not only capable of quickly detecting and investigating any suspected case of measles but many other diseases as well. Therefore, anyone feeling unwell is advised to visit the nearest health facility for medical attention.