UNICEF confirms case of measles

Associated Press

Jakarta, January 10:

A single case of measles has been confirmed in a young survivor of Indonesia’s tsunami disaster, a spokesman for UNICEF said today.

The UN children’s agency is in the midst of a campaign to vaccinate 600,000 people in the devastated regions of Sumatra island against the disease, which can be deadly to children if not treated, said UNICEF Indonesia spokesman John Budd.

The mass vaccination drive began last week and is expected to take three weeks to complete.

According to UNICEF, measles is a highly contagious viral infection that kills more children than any other vaccine-preventable disease. Children that survive measles can be left with permanent disabilities. “In this situation, it is deadly to children,” Budd said. “But we have to keep this in perspective - it is a single case.”

There have so far been no major outbreaks of disease since the December 26 disaster.