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04 Apr 2020 | 04:41 AM UTC

Ethiopia: Measles outbreak reported in several regions January 24

Measles outbreak reported in several regions on January 24; more than 2000 cases reported since January



On Friday, January 24, health officials reported an outbreak of measles in the regions of Oromia, Somali, and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region. As of Friday, April 3, more than 2000 cases and five associated deaths have been reported nationwide since the beginning of 2020. The most affected area is the administrative division of East Wollega (Oromia region).

Further spread of the disease is possible in the near term.


Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that typically affects children. It is transmitted via droplets from the nose or mouth of infected persons. A symptom of measles is usually a high fever, which begins approximately ten to 12 days after exposure to the virus and lasts four to seven days. A runny nose, a cough, red and watery eyes, and small white spots inside the cheeks can develop in the initial stage. After several days, a rash erupts, usually on the face and upper neck. Over the course of about three days, the rash spreads, eventually reaching the hands and feet. The rash lasts for five to six days and then fades. On average, the rash occurs 14 days after exposure to the virus (within a range of seven to 18 days). A vaccine is available.


Individuals in Ethiopia are advised to ensure their measles vaccination is up to date (including booster shots) and to contact their doctor with any questions or concerns. Anyone experiencing the aforementioned symptoms is urged to seek immediate medical attention.