25 Jul 2014

Solomons health officials issue measles alert

2:29 pm on 25 July 2014

The Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the World Health Organisation are reminding parents a free vaccination is available for their children.

The ministry's permanent secretary, Dr Lester Ross, says measles is a highly contagious and deadly disease, but can be easily prevented with a vaccine.

He says it is safe, effective and free and available at local health clinics in Solomon Islands.

In the past three weeks, there have been 11 cases of suspected measles reported to the ministry's National Surveillance Unit.

There is no specific treatment for measles and most people recover within a few weeks but there can be serious complications, including severe diarrhoea, ear infection, pneumonia and, rarely, brain infection.

The ministry's director of maternal and child health, Dr Divi Ogaoga, says children, particularly malnourished ones, are the most at risk of suffering complications from measles.