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Published On: Thu, Jan 3rd, 2013

Measles outbreak prompts emergency response in Pakistan’s Sindh province: WHO

The dramatic increase in measles fatalities in Pakistan this year has drawn international emergency response , according to a Jan. 2  report in the Pakistani news source, Dawn.com.

Pakistan map CIAAccording to the World Health Organization (WHO), measles cases in 2012 have surged by almost five times of that the previous year in Pakistan.

WHO officials said Tuesday that 306 Pakistani children died from the vaccine-preventable disease this year. This is a five fold increase from the 64 measles fatalities the previous year.

The WHO said the jump was most pronounced in southern Sindh province, where measles killed 210 children in 2012. Twenty-eight children died there the year before, according to an Al Jazeera report Wednesday.

In response to the measles crisis in Pakistan, the WHO has started a large measles vaccination campaign targeting 2.9 million children in eight districts of Sindh province.

According to WHO officials,  children from the age of nine months to 10 years will be targeted in this campaign. Currently, immunization coverage in Pakistan stands at about 65 percent.

“Measles campaign has been planned between 31st December 2012 and 9th Jan, 2013 for eight districts in Sindh; Sukkur, Khairpur, Larkana, Qamber-Shadadkot, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Ghotki and Kashmore”, WHO representative in Pakistan, Dr. Guido Sabatinelli stated.

Measles or rubeola, is an acute highly communicable viral disease that is characterized by Koplik spots in the cheek or tongue very early in the disease. A couple of days later a red blotchy rash appears first on the face, and then spreads, lasting 4-7 days. Other symptoms include fever, cough and red watery eyes. The patient may be contagious from four days prior to the rash appearance to four days after rash appearance.

The disease is more severe in infants and adults. Complications from measles which is reported in up to 20% of people infected include; seizures, pneumonia, deafness and encephalitis.

Prevention of measles is through vaccination.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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