UN reports measles outbreaks in Ethiopia, Kenya

July 15, 2011 - 6:59 AM

GENEVA (AP) — United Nations officials say outbreaks of measles in Ethiopia and Kenya have killed dozens of children and sickened thousands of others.

UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado said Friday at least 17,584 measles cases, including 114 deaths, have been reported by Ethiopian health officials in the first half of the year.

World Health Organization spokesman Tarek Jasarevic says at least 462 cases of measles, including 11 deaths, have been confirmed in recent months among Somali refugee children in the Kenyan refugee complex known as Dadaab.

He says 2 million children in Ethiopia are at risk of contracting measles.

WHO has warned that the movement of people and poor sanitation in overcrowded camps and towns due to drought and violence in East Africa increases the risk of cholera, typhoid and measles epidemics.