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Source: Medical News - New Measles Strain  Sep 05, 2022  9 months ago
Ongoing Outbreak Of New Strain Of Measles That Causes Encephalitis Has Now Caused The Deaths Of 698 Children In Zimbabwe And Spreading Elsewhere!
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Ongoing Outbreak Of New Strain Of Measles That Causes Encephalitis Has Now Caused The Deaths Of 698 Children In Zimbabwe And Spreading Elsewhere!
Source: Medical News - New Measles Strain  Sep 05, 2022  9 months ago
While the world has been more engrossed in COVID-19, monkeypox, booster vaccines, the Ukraine-Russia war and the downfall of cryptocurrencies, no attention has been focused nor any aid and medical assistance been offered to the health authorities, physicians and hospitals in Zimbabwe that are facing an outbreak of a new deadly strain of measles that is causing the deaths of children at an exponential phase.

Since Thailand Medical News first reported on the outbreak on the 17th of August 2022, the number of children who have died from the disease has now increased to 698 and more than 6,308 children have been infected with almost 42 percent of them in severe conditions!
The southern African country's health ministry also said that just on the Ist of September alone, 37 deaths were recorded.
Initial preliminary research has shown that the strains of the measles virus that is causing the outbreak do not belong to any of the 24 known genotypes of measles virus and are not from the current 4 genotypes that are currently circulating around the globe since 2017 ie B3, D4, D8 and H1.
This new measles virus attacks mainly children with the most serious complications including blindness, brain swelling, diarrhea and severe respiratory infections. Its symptoms are a red rash that appears first on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. A number of adults have also been reported to have contracted the disease.
Alarmingly, many infected with the new measles strain are displaying severe neurological conditions similar to subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) which is actually a progressive, disabling, and deadly brain disorder related to measles (rubeola) infection that typically develops 7 to 10 years after an individual has measles, even though the person seems to have fully recovered from the illness. It is as if the pathogenesis of the new virus has been put into an ‘accelerated overdrive’!

Normally, the measles virus does not cause brain damage. However, an abnormal immune response to measles or, possibly, certain mutant forms of the virus may cause severe illness and death. This response leads to brain inflammation (swelling and irritation) that may last for years
The new measles outbreak has also spread to Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan.
The infection and death figures released today reflects an increase of more than four-times the number of deaths announced about two weeks ago when the ministry said 157 children, most of whom were unvaccinated due to their family's religious beliefs, had succumbed to the disease.
The president of the Medical and Dental Private Practitioners of Zimbabwe Association, Dr Johannes Marisa, told media that the government should escalate an ongoing mass vaccination campaign and embark on awareness programs targeted especially at anti-vaccine religious groups.
Dr Marisa said, "Because of the resistance, education may not be enough so the government should also consider using coercive measures to ensure that no one is allowed to refuse vaccination for their children.”
He is urging the government to "consider enacting legislation that makes vaccination against killer diseases such as measles mandatory."
This new measles outbreak was first identified in the eastern Manicaland province in early April 2022 and has since spread to all parts of the country and also to other countries.
It was reported that many of the deaths have been of children who were not vaccinated.
The Zimbabwean government has invoked a law used to respond to disasters to deal with the outbreak.
Health authorities have embarked on a mass vaccination campaign targeting children aged between 6 months and 15 years old and is engaging traditional and faith leaders to support the drive.
Although Zimbabwe continued vaccinating children against measles even during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, but the drive has been hampered by religious groups that preach against vaccines.
It was reported that the Christian sects and cults groups are against modern medicine and tell their members to rely on self-proclaimed prophets for healing.
The health ministry said in a statement last week that church gatherings that have resumed following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions have "led to the spread of measles to previously unaffected areas."
It is already known that measles is among the most infectious diseases in the world and mostly spreads in the air by coughing, sneezing or close contact.
Typical symptoms include coughing, fever and a skin rash, while the risk of severe measles or dying from complications is high among unvaccinated children.
Past outbreaks in unvaccinated and malnourished populations have been known to kill thousands.
Medical scientists estimate that more than 90% of the population needs to be immunized to prevent measles outbreaks.
The WHO or World Health Organization in April 2022 warned of an increase in measles in vulnerable countries as a result of a disruption of services due to COVID-19.
Caseloads are increasing in many countries in the African continent and also in the Middle-East and there is very little monitoring and also genomic surveillance.
There has been a total lack of response from the international community I terms of research and study with regards to the new measles outbreak.
For the more updates, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.


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