Published Date: 2010-08-05 13:19:53
Subject: PRO/EAFR> Measles - Africa (28): Zambia
Archive Number: 20100805.210874
MEASLES - AFRICA (28): ZAMBIA
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Thu 5 Aug 2010
Source: The Post Newspapers (Zambia) [edited]
An outbreak of measles has been reported at Evelyn Hone College in
Lusaka where 15 confirmed cases have so far been recorded, student
union president Marvin Kapenda said yesterday (4 Aug 2010). Kapenda
described the situation as serious and called on management to
closely work with the Ministry of Health to contain the disease.
"The cases recorded so far and confirmed are 15 and we have been told
these people are quarantined but within the campus clinic. It is a
serious case; at first when we had 8 cases we thought it was going to
diminish but it is getting worse and this disease is airborne so we
anticipate a good number looking at the level of interaction of
students as well as how they reside," Kapenda said.
He said the union had written to management appealing to them to
engage the Ministry of Health but they had not received any response.
"We think something should be done about it, it might look like it's
a simple case but we are aware that measles is deadly especially in
adults. So far we have recorded cases of 10 males and 5 females and
most of the hostels that are affected are Kariba B hostel for men and
Botswana for ladies. The 1st 4 victims were taken to Chawama clinic
now since this is a provincial outbreak and that place is full, so we
thought we could just use our clinic by quarantining those people," he said.
Kapenda said the students were responding well to treatment because
only 5 serious cases were remaining. But college spokesperson Mwewa
Mandona [said] only 4 cases were recorded and the students had since
been quarantined. They were expected to be discharged soon.
Mandona said the situation was not too serious and that the
institution was working closely with the Lusaka District Health
Management Team. "We have taken measures to ensure that their friends
don't even visit them, it's like they are in a restricted area that
we can control, that way we minimize the spread of the disease," said Mandona.
[Byline: Moses Kuwema]
HealthMap Alerts via ProMED-mail
[Closed settings like schools are at a high risk of getting explosive
measles outbreaks especially if the proportion of vulnerable
individuals is high. It is therefore critical that the affected are
supported by the Ministry of Health to ensure that all cases are
isolated and given the appropriate supportive treatment, in addition
to ensuring that all susceptible individuals that fall within the
age-group targeted for supplementary vaccination get immunized.
A map showing the provinces of Zambia can be accessed at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provinces_of_Zambia, and the
HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of the country can be accessed
at http://healthmap.org/r/01Q5. - Mod.JFW]