About 200 infected in measles outbreak in disputed Abyei area: charity

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-07 21:12:18|Editor: xuxin
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JUBA, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- At least 192 people have been infected by the highly contagious measles disease in oil-rich Abyei, a border territory claimed by Sudan and South Sudan, a global charity said on Thursday.

Save the Children said in a statement that a cumulative 192 cases have been reported since the outbreak was declared on January 25.

The agency said as part of efforts to curb further transmission, a multi-agency team has responded by vaccinating 13,500 children against the measles virus.

The seven-day vaccination campaign targeted children under five years, but plans are under way to extend the exercise to people aged 5-15 years, the charity added.

Isa Musulo, Save the Children Health Manager in Abyei, said since the last vaccination in Abyei was in May 2017, the suspected measles cases in the area are deeply concerning and puts children at risk, especially those in remote areas without health facilities.

"More effort needs to go into increasing routine immunization coverage and strengthening health systems," Musulo added.

Measles is a highly contagious disease and it can cause severe or fatal complications, especially in young children and babies.

Young children with malnutrition and weak immune systems are particularly vulnerable to complications and death.