Measles epidemic hits DRC

A man measures a child's arm circumference in a makeshift field clinic of the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) organisation during a vaccination program against measles for children living near an internally displacement camp close to the airport in Bangui on January 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA

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KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo

The Ministry of Health in the Democratic Republic of Congo has declared a measles epidemic in the country saying that it has so far recorded 87,000 suspected cases since the start of the year.

The Ministry adds that 23 provinces out of the 26 have been reported to have cases of the epidemic. It has advised its people to remain calm because though the disease is highly contagious, it is preventable with the right vaccines.

The Ministry also notes that they will be dispersing medical teams to all affected provinces to vaccinate the victims in order to contain it and prevent its spread to the remaining unaffected provinces.

Available records indicate that the disease has so far killed more than 1, 500 people since the start of the year with most victims being children under the age of five.

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