KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 – Nearly 5,000 people have died due to measles in the Democratic Republic of Congo this year, with almost 250,000 people infected in this year alone.
“The World Health Organization (WHO) says this is the world’s largest and fastest-moving epidemic,” said the BBC.
Majority of those infected are infants.
In September, the government in collaboration with WHO launched an emergency measles vaccination program in an aim to vaccinate more than 800,000 children.
“Four million children have been vaccinated, but experts warn that this amounts to less than half of the total in the country – and not enough vaccines are available.”
Poor infrastructure, attacks on health centres and a lack of access to routine healthcare pose challenges to efforts to address the spread of the deadly disease in the country.
Measles is a virus that starts off with runny nose, sneezing and fever; and becomes a blotchy rash that spreads across the body.
“Most people will recover, but measles can cause life-long disability,” added BBC.
“It can be deadly, especially if it causes pneumonia in the lungs or encephalitis (swelling in the brain).”