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Your Covid-19 questions answered

How do I know if I have Covid-19 or early onset of measles?

13 June 2022 - 07:35
Despite some similar symptoms, measles is different to Covid-19. File photo.
Despite some similar symptoms, measles is different to Covid-19. File photo.
Image: iSTOCK

A measles outbreak in Gauteng has sparked conversations around the highly contagious disease and Covid-19.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported four laboratory-confirmed cases of measles in Gauteng last month.

“Three cases are known to be epidemiologically linked, and are resident in south-western Tshwane. The fourth case is resident on the West Rand. All cases are isolated and are recovering,” it said.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), two or more cases of measles in a health district within one month is regarded as an outbreak.

How do you know if you have Covid-19 or measles?

According to the NICD, measles, like Covid-19, is highly contagious and is spread through infectious airborne respiratory droplets from infected people when coughing or sneezing

Like Covid-19, measles symptoms include coughing, fever, fatigue, a runny nose, red eyes and muscle pains. These symptoms typically appear before the characteristic difference between the two diseases: a maculopapular rash.

In other words, it has many similar symptoms to Covid-19 before a patient develops the rash often associated with measles.

Dr Marlin McKay, who runs his own medical practice in Roodepoort, told TimesLIVE it is better to err on the side of caution, and get tested or examined by a health practitioner if you feel ill.

Speaking to EWN recently, Tshwane health MEC Rina Marxissued the same advice.

She said the Covid-19 pandemic has influenced the onset of the measles outbreak.

“All babies should be vaccinated at the age of six months and 12 months. Covid-19 definitely had an impact on the routine vaccinations because people were scared to go clinics because they are high-risk areas.

“Some skipped taking their children for vaccinations but they can go to their nearest facilities for catch-up shots”.

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