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At least 42 die from measles outbreak in northeast Nigeria

AT least 42 deaths have been recorded from a measles outbreak in just over a week in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Adamawa, the state’s health commissioner said.

Measles is a highly contagious, airborne virus that mostly affects children under the age of 5. It can be prevented by two doses of vaccine and more than 50 million deaths have been averted since 2000, according to the World Health Organisation.

Felix Tangwami, the Adamawa health commissioner, said the measles outbreak had mostly affected two local government areas where 42 deaths were recorded out of nearly 200 suspected cases.

“Measles vaccines have been released to those areas and our field teams are containing the situation,” he said at a media briefing.

Widespread insecurity in many northern Nigerian states is often blamed for the disruption of vaccination campaigns, leaving children particularly vulnerable.