A measles outbreak in Zimbabwe has killed at least 157 children, out of more than 2,000 persons infections across the country, the Zimbabwean government said on Tuesday.
Since the outbreak in early August, the number of cases in the Southern African country has increased rapidly, with the number of reported deaths nearly doubling in less than a week.
“As of 15 August, the cumulative numbers stood at 2,056 cases and 157 deaths,” Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said at a news conference. She stressed that the government would increase vaccinations “to cope with the emergency”.
The Ministry of Health had previously attributed the outbreak to religious gatherings.
The measles virus mainly affects children. The most serious complications are blindness, diarrhoea and severe respiratory infections. The first symptoms are usually a red rash on the face, which then spreads to the rest of the body.