Your child can be part of the world wild eradication of measles
Western Cape Government Health will embark on measles campaign as part of the world wide efforts to eradicate this debilitating illness. The campaign will run from 12 – 30 June 2017 and is aimed at all children less than 5 years old even if your child’s immunisations are up to date.
The best manner in which to eradicate an infectious illness is to make sure that between 93 and 100% of people have immunity. This is known as herd immunity, and works by ensuring that when an illness is released into a community, those people who are exposed are protected. This is because a large number of immunised individuals act as a collective group preventing an illness from spreading. The various immunisations campaigns usually form part of a world-wide initiative to help eradicate an illness.
The secret to the success of any campaign is excellent team work between parents /caregivers and local clinics or health services. A campaign offers parents an opportunity to, with minimum effort, ensure that their child forms part of the world wild eradication of measles. A consent form will be sent home with your child; parents need to sign and return the form to the school. Those parents who wish to can visit their local clinic or private child care provider.
*Remember: Even if your child was vaccinated during the February – March prevention campaign, they should receive a booster shot during this campaign.
The measles vaccine is very safe; it is made of inactive virus and other than some children experiencing mild symptoms, has no side effects. The professional health teams that will be visiting crèches and pre-schools can only vaccinate those children whose parents have given consent.
Some quick facts:
- Speedy response to a measles outbreak in Stellenbosch in February of this year ensured that only 29 cases were confirmed in the Western Cape. This is a huge improvement compared to well over 18 000 cases reported during the 2008 outbreak.
- It takes only one infected child or person in a community to infect a whole bunch of other people – this is because everybody’s immune system fluctuates. Sometimes we are more vulnerable than at other times.
- Making sure that your child is protected means that even if he or she is in contact with an infected person, he will probably not contract the illness. In the event that someone who has been vaccinated contracts measles, it will be a much milder form, sometimes presenting with no more than a headache or mild fever.
Be part of the efforts to eradicate measles, vaccinate your kiddie under 5 years old!