Measles Scare

THE Health Department and city health authorities have issued a measles warning for Port Moresby.
This follows confirmation that a 7-year-old child was admitted to the Port Moresby General Hospital on Wednesday suffering from measles – fever, rash cough and conjectivitis. “Testing by the Central Public Health Laboratory
confirmed presents IgM measles antibodies on February 13. The patient is now recovering,” a Health Department statement last night said.

This is the first case diagnosed in Port Moresby since 2006. The other cases in PNG since 2006 have occurred in West Sepik in October last year followed by Western Province with nine confirmed cases. The signs and symptoms are acute fever and rash with any one of the three – cough, runny nose or red eyes, the statement said.

The Health Department and the National Capital District health services with support from the World Health Organization country office in PNG have convened an urgent meeting to conduct thorough investigation in Port
Moresby and in Popondetta, Northern Province, which was the patient’s last place of residence before coming to Port Moresby on February 4.

“We have found no other cases both within the family and immediate family contacts both here in Port Moresby and in Popondetta. However, investigations are continuing,” the statement said.

The statement said parents with children between months to 5 years should immumise them. “Vaccine will be given to anyone within the specified age group even if you have received measles vaccine before and you do not have
proof.”

The Port Moresby General Hospital will immunize in children aged between 6 months to five years. NCD health services will conduct immunization in and around Waigani – TST Waigani, IPA, Fort Benner, Tokam Barracks and Boreboa Community School areas.

All health clinics throughout the city will give measles vaccine to all children aged between 6 months to five years starting tomorrow unless parents have proof that their children have been fully vaccinated.

All health facilities and workers have been put on alert to report any suspected cases of persons with acute fever and rash with cough, runny nose and red eyes to the NCD health services. All parents and guardians have been advised
to bring children with the said symptoms to nearest clinic for treatment and further investigation.

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