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04 August 2017

Gauteng – An unprecedented number of measles cases have been confirmed recently in Gauteng. It is alleged that the outbreak started with one specific family who refused to be vaccinated.

This outbreak illustrates that even though all claims anti-vaxers use against vaccinations are scientifically unsound, there are people who believe in their cause and are refusing to vaccinate their children.

Anti-vaxers hold that vaccines cause autism, are toxic and unnecessary as diseases like measles are not so serious. Some even claim that it’s a racket to enrich doctors and pharmaceutical companies.

One of the physical symptoms of measles: small whitish spots within a red spot on the inside of the cheek and lips.
One of the physical symptoms of measles: small whitish spots within a red spot on the inside of the cheek and lips.

During the 2008 and 2009 outbreaks, where 18,000 people were infected, several people died from the disease. Medical costs arising from the treating preventable diseases are also very high
Due to of the seriousness of measles, Gauteng has started with emergency vaccinations of children, also giving boosters to children and adults who are already vaccinated.

Measles can result in physical and mental disabilities and death. Measles symptoms will only appear 10-14 days after exposure and include fever, rash (“Koplik spots”: small whitish spots within a red spot on the inside of the cheek and lips, seen before the rash appears on the tummy and the spreads all over the body), mouth ulcers and painful throat, runny nose, cough, light sensitivity (photophobia) and painful eyes as well as diarrhoea in some cases. If you suspect you or your child might have measles, seek medical help immediately. 

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