Ethiopia reports measles and diphtheria outbreaks

The country of the Horn of Africa is currently battling outbreaks in two vaccine-preventable diseases, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

To date, 2,190 suspected measles cases were reported in 61 separate outbreaks in Ethiopia, of which 929 cases were confirmed positive. The majority of the cases were from Nejo and Nole woredas of West Wellega zone (Oromia) and Kola Tembien woreda of Central Tigray zone (Tigray). Twenty eight per cent of cases were children under-5 and 33 per cent of those affected were above 15 years of age.

In addition to measles, an outbreak of diphtheria was reported in Alle and Konso woredas (SNNPR) on 25 February. As of 7 March, there were 31 suspected cases and six deaths. Investigations to determine the extent of the outbreak are on-going.

Rabies in Nepal

Officials report a 12-year old boy died of furious rabies during treatment at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The patient was bitten by an unknown stray dog (puppy) in the tip of the index finger. The wound was unnoticeable and hence the boy did not inform his parents about the incident. Signs of furious rabies appeared 20 days after the bite. He died one day after his admission to this hospital. It was the 2nd fatal case of rabies in this hospital within a week.

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