Measles infection on the rise

KUANTAN: Pahang is seeing a steep rise in measles cases partly because of non-vaccination.

State Health Department director Datuk Indera Dr Sha’ari Ngadiman said until March 16 this year, there were 21 measles cases reported, compared with just seven cases during the same period last year.

This was a 200% increase, with Kuantan contributing the highest number at 19 cases.

The other districts are Rompin and Temerloh with one case each, he said.

“Nearly 30% of measles cases in Pahang is due to non-vaccination. This high percentage is worrying.

“The Health Ministry urges parents to take their children to the nearest clinic to get vaccinated for measles.

“This is to ensure the children are protected from measles infection and its complications,” Dr Sha’ari said in a statement.

He said measles vaccine is given in two doses to children, at the age of nine and 12 months.

Immunisation coverage of more than 95% would ensure herd immunity was high enough to prevent the disease from spreading among the public, he said, adding that the symptoms of the disease included fever, rash, cough, flu

and conjunctivitis.

“The public is recommended to see a doctor for immediate treatment if they develop any signs of measles. It is a disease that can be transmitted easily by the airborne route as droplets from the mouth or nose while talking, coughing or sneezing,” he said.

Dr Sha’ari added that infected children must be isolated and not be allowed to attend daycare centre, kindergarten or school.

“Avoid taking the child to any meeting or assembly, especially if it involves high-risk groups such as babies, people with low immunity like cancer and HIV/AIDS patients as well as those who are undergoing chemotherapy,” he warned.

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