DAR ES SALAAM, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian health authorities on Thursday issued an alert over the rising number of measles cases, saying they were following up closely on the outbreak of the disease.
The Minister for Health Ummy Mwalimu said health authorities have recorded 54 cases of measles between July and August this year, but there have been no deaths.
Mwalimu told a news conference in Dodoma, the capital of Tanzania, that out of the 54 reported cases of measles, 48 patients were under 15 years of age, and six patients were over 15 years of age.
She said samples of patients were sent to the national health public laboratory and tested positive for measles.
The minister said the cases were reported in Kagera, Tanga, Coast and Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Morogoro, Rukwa, Mara, Mtwara, Shinyanga, Tabora and Mwanza regions.
Measles is a viral infection that is serious for small children but is easily preventable by a vaccine.
The disease spreads through the air by respiratory droplets produced from coughing or sneezing.
Measles symptoms do not appear until 10 to 14 days after exposure. They include cough, runny nose, inflamed eyes, sore throat, fever and a red, blotchy skin rash. ■