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Liberia news

Measles kills 6 in Margibi

-77 cases reported

As Margibi County observes the eradication of Ebola for more than 42 days without a new case, another disease has hit the county, killing at least six persons.

Speaking to reporters in Kakata, Margibi County on Friday, 10 April the County Mobilization Coordinator for UNICEF, Sophie Reeves, disclosed that there are about 77 measles cases with six deaths reported in the county.

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Madam Reeves, who also works with the Margibi County Health Team, explained that cases, which are found within the four health districts of Margibi, including Gibi, Mahnban Kaba, Marshall and Kakata erupted two weeks ago with Gibi district being highly hit by the disease.

The UNICEF County Mobilization Coordinator added that measles is a very contagious disease that has similar signs and symptoms (high fever, weakness, sore, bleeding, etc) like the Ebola Virus Disease.

She named some of the symptoms of the disease as running nose, red eyes, cough and weakness as well as spots on the skin, among others.

She described the outbreak as very scaring and urged the people of Margibi to be very careful before the chain transmission rapidly increases in the county.

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Madam Reeves stressed that a single measles case should be considered an outbreak because it spreads too fast like a wide fire among the population.

Meanwhile, she noted that due to the nature of the cases in the Gibi District, the county health team and its partners have decided to urgently take the measles vaccine to Gibi, ahead of the nationwide vaccination period set for May 8-14, 2015.

According to her, the county health team and partners will today, Monday, April 13, 2015 take the measles vaccine to Gibi District.

She warns that if the county health team does not reach the district now, more deaths could occur because Gibi is highly hit.

Madam Reeves has meanwhile warned the people of Margibi to refrain from calling the measles vaccine an Ebola vaccine, something, which noted, has already started to make many people afraid to take the vaccine.

“The vaccines will be administered for measles and polio, respectively and there will also be worm tablets given”, she added.

The Measles vaccine will target children between six and 59 months or less than 5 years, while the polio vaccine will target zero month to 59 months or under 5 years, and the worm tablets will target children one to five years old. 

By Ramsey N. Singbeh, Jr. in Margibi 

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