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UNICEF: 54 children with measles, widespread vaccination campaign to start in Iraq

GENEVA, Feb 22 (KUNA) -- The United Nations Children's Fuund (UNICEF) said Friday that a measles outbreak has been reported amongst young children in Iraq.
Fifty-five children have become ill over the last six weeks according to Iraq's Health Ministry, with 27 cases confirmed by laboratory analysis.
Spokesperson for the Children's Fund Veronique Taveau told reporters that her agency and the World Health Organization (WHO) are working with local health officials to run an emergency immunization campaign to stop the virus spreading.
She added that the five day campaign is likely to start within the next week and cover every child between one and five years old in affected parts of Heet and Ramadi.
Measles is a highly infectious and potentially deadly childhood disease - and outbreaks are always a sign of low immunity in the population.
It can also lead to serious complications such as brain damage, blindness and immune system deficiencies. (end) hn.bs KUNA 221909 Feb 08NNNN