KAMPALA, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Uganda's ministry of health on Thursday announced an outbreak of measles, one of the country's top killer diseases.
Jane Ruth Aceng, minister for health, told Xinhua that the measles outbreak has been reported in 29 districts in the east African country. She said children are the most affected.
Aceng said the ministry plans to carry out an emergency measles immunization exercise in the affected districts targeting children below five years. She said the move is to avert the spread of the disease.
She said the emergency immunization exercise is an addition to the routine measles immunization carried out after every two years.
Measles, according to the ministry of health, is one of the killer diseases among children below five years. The others include tetanus, whooping cough, diphtheria, polio and tuberculosis.
The health authorities blamed the low level of immunization for the outbreak of the disease.
"Some districts have coverage ranging between 70-85 percent. That is not good enough. That is why we continue to experience these outbreaks," said Aceng.
"We need to increase the coverage to above 95 percent so that we shall see no cases of measles," she said.
Measles is a highly infectious viral disease that spreads 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.