Zimbabwe News

Measles and mumps outbreak kills 35 Mapostori children in Hurungwe

An alarming outbreak of suspected measles and mumps is devastating Hurungwe in Mashonaland West Province, resulting in the tragic loss of 35 children within a single month. These children belong to an apostolic religious sect.

Seven children were from the same household, while a different household has lost five children.

Mapostori, also referred to as Vapostori, belong to various Christian sects that comprise several splinter groups originating from the original Johane Masowe Apostolic Church. Typically, they reject modern medicine, leading them to refrain from immunizing and vaccinating their children.

Government spokesperson Nick Mangwana said the suspected measles outbreak came to light when a member of the church brought four of his children to Karoi Hospital. Two of the children were showing signs of measles and the other two had mumps.

The affected wards and villages are Ward 4, 22 and Nyama Village 5 of Hurungwe Rural District Council (RDC).

Mangwana said some of the children who died were recorded from the following families; Nduna household (7 children), Magara (5 children), Matashu (2 children), Chikonamombe (2 children), and Kaitano (2 children).

He said the Department of Civil Protection (CPU) has since dispatched a team to the shrine to engage the leadership.

Measles and mumps are both contagious viral infections. Symptoms of measles include high fever, red, blotchy rash that usually starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body, and cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes.

The symptoms of mumps include swollen and painful salivary glands (usually the parotid glands), fever, headache, and muscle aches.

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