Measles chaos: 84 cases in 2 months, 3 deaths in 48 hours puts Mumbai on alert

Measles chaos: 84 cases in 2 months, 3 deaths in 48 hours puts Mumbai on alert

Mumbai is on alert once again, this time against the highly contagious measles disease which is suspected to have killed three children in a span of 48 hours and infected more than 80 people in a span of two months.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) confirmed the outbreak, saying most of the cases are from the M-East ward covering Govandi. Until October, the city recorded several measles cases in the slums of Dharavi, Govandi, Kurla, Mahim, Bandra and Matunga, the Indian Express reported. So far, four deaths associated with measles have been reported. One died in early October, while three children, Hasnain (5), Noorain (3.5) and Fazal khan (13 months), all residents of Rafi Nagar in Govandi, died within 48 hours between 26-27 October. october. Two of the deaths are still being reviewed by the civic death committee to confirm the cause of death, IE said.

According to BMC, between September and October, 84 cases of measles were reported. The corporation team, which goes door-to-door to check for possible cases, visited the disease-prone areas before the Union government team landed in Mumbai. One team member said the children who died were not fully immunized, making them susceptible to infection.

Health workers added that vaccination in the slums, especially in Govandi, which is close to the Deonar landfill, is difficult as residents are hesitant and tend to ignore their symptoms.

As authorities work around the clock to control the outbreak, News18 takes a look at the disease, symptoms and prevention:

What is measles?

Commonly called ‘khasra’, measles is a highly contagious viral disease that begins in the respiratory system. The virus from the paramyxovirus family spreads to other parts of the body through the bloodstream and is a leading cause of death and disability among young children.

according to him World World Health Organization (WHO), measles cases have been on the rise in India. Until September 2022, the country registered more than 11,156 cases. The incidence has doubled in the first two months of 2022 compared to the previous year with an increase of 79 percent, India Reported today.

How is it spread?

Measles is spread by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact, or direct contact with infected nasal or throat secretions.

An infected child can spread the virus to others for about eight days, starting four days before the rash appears and ending when the rash has been present for four days, the Indian Express reported.

What are the symptoms?

The first sign is usually a high fever, which begins around 10 to 12 days after exposure to the virus and lasts 4 to 7 days. This may be accompanied by cough, runny nose, red eyes, sore throat, and white patches inside the mouth.

The most noticeable sign of a measles infection is skin rashes. This commonly appears on the head and slowly spreads to other parts of the body.

Can the vaccine help?

The WHO recommends immunization of all children with two doses of measles vaccine, either alone or in a measles-rubella (MR) or measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) combination. In India, as part of the National Health Mission, measles vaccination is administered under the Universal Immunization Program at 9-12 months of age and the second dose at 16-24 months of age.

Unvaccinated children are at high risk of complications from measles, including death. Even pregnant women are at high risk, including people who have not been vaccinated with the MR (measles rubella) vaccine.

indian target

India launched a one-time immunization campaign for all children between the ages of 9 months to 15 years in 2017 to eliminate measles and rubella. In May, the government adopted a National Strategic Plan to eliminate measles by the end of 2023.

However, the latest outbreak appears to have put a wrench in the works and authorities are now trying to quickly trace the infection, possible sources and ensure all children are vaccinated.

Following news of the outbreak, the Union Ministry of Health sent a high-level multidisciplinary team to the city to track the increase in cases. The three-member team, made up of experts from the National Center for Disease Control, Lady Hardinge Medical College and the Pune Regional Office for Health and Family Welfare, will assist state health authorities.

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