Kagadi — More than 30 people especially children have been hospitalised following measles outbreak in Kagadi District.
The measles outbreak has been reported in Rugashali and Mabale sub-counties.
Ms Naster Tumwine, a medical worker at a local clinic in Rugashali town, said the affected parishes include Rugashali, Yerudani, Buhumuriro and Ndeeba.
"It has been reported that the epidemic has been spread by students studying at Rugashali Secondary School but hailing from Bukyinda-Kyangwali in Kikuube District. We have so far registered at least 30 patients here," Ms Tumwine said.
She added that the patients are responding to medication but the number is increasing daily.
Mr Medias Mutume Kakwavu, the female councillor for Ndeeba Sub-county said residents have resorted to use of local medicines.
"We have confirmed the increasing numbers of measles patients. This is because these people could have missed immunisation during childhood. We are using cow dung and mushrooms to treat the disease. The government should come in and immunise the children," Mr Mutume added.
The Kagadi District secretary for health, Mr John Alibankoha, told Daily Monitor on Tuesday that the outbreak is spreading to other areas.
"I monitored the outpatient departments of several health centres and found out that most of the registers have measles patients," Mr Alibankoha said.
He said they have started a measles immunisation campaign in the district. The Kagadi District Health Officer, Mr James Olwo, on Tuesday said samples from patients which were recently sent to the virus research institute in Kampala for further analysis tested positive for measles.
"We are waiting for the Ministry of Health to organise mass immunization because it is not only here," Mr Olwo said.
Measles is a highly contagious, serious disease caused by a virus.
Signs and symptoms. The first sign of measles is usually a high fever, which begins about 10 to 12 days after exposure to the virus, and lasts four to seven days. 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. Over about three days, the rash spreads, eventually reaching the hands and feet. The rash lasts for five to six days, and then fades. On average, the rash occurs 14 days after exposure to the virus (within a range of seven to 18 days).
Statistics. Before the introduction of measles vaccine in 1963 and widespread vaccination, major epidemics occurred approximately every 2-3 years and measles caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths each year. Approximately 110 000 people died from measles in 2017 - mostly children under the age of five years.