The National, Wednesday 19th of February, 2014
A MEASLES case has been reported in Port Moresby by the Health Department.
A seven-year-old child was confirmed having measles last Thursday after being admitted at the Port Moresby General Hospital the day before.
The child was admitted with fever, rash, cough and conjunctivitis.
“When a child does not get treatment right after he or she catches the virus, he or she can develop pneumonia, diarrhoea, dehydration or die,” Berry Ropa, programme manager with the Health Department’s public health surveillance and emergency response, said.
“The measles virus can take seven to 14 days to spread.”
Tests by the Central Public Health laboratory confirmed the presence of IgM measles antibodies the next day. The patient is now recovering.
“This is the first case diagnosed on Port Moresby since 2006. The only other case in PNG since 2006 occurred in Sandaun in October 2013 followed by Western province with nine confirmed cases,” Ropa said.
Signs and symptoms of measles include acute fever and rash with cough, running nose or red eyes.
The Health Department and National Capital District health services, with support from the World Health Organisation, have convened an urgent meeting to conduct an epidemiological investigation in Port Moresby and Popondetta where the patient lived before coming to Port Moresby two weeks ago.
Parents are urged to immunise children from six months to five years old.