KAMPALA, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Five children in the western Ugandan district of Hoima have died of measles, the country's health ministry said on Thursday.
Emma Ainebyoona, the ministry's public relations officer, told Xinhua by telephone that all the children were under 10. The cases occurred in the past week.
The officer said the country is facing a measles outbreak and that 56 districts have already been affected.
Ainebyoona urged parents to take their children for vaccination against the disease.
"We shall soon roll out the mass measles and rubella immunization campaign before the end of this month," Ainebyoona said.
Measles, according to the ministry of health, is one of the killer diseases among children below five years. The others include diphtheria, polio and tuberculosis.
Measles is a highly infectious viral disease that may spread through coughs and sneezes and can cause serious illness. The symptoms of the disease include a high fever, cough, runny nose and red watery eyes.
According to the World Health Organization, the symptoms of measles appear about seven to 14 days after a person is infected.