Everything You need to Know About the Mumbai Measles Outbreak

According to the BMC, seven suspected measles deaths and 164 cases of measles have been reported in Mumbai since September 2022. A one-year-old boy died of measles on Monday.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) confirmed cases of measles in Mumbai slum areas after three children died from the disease in the Govandi region. (Unsplash)
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) confirmed cases of measles in Mumbai slum areas after three children died from the disease in the Govandi region. (Unsplash)

Measles is a highly contagious disease that begins as a skin rash that lasts up to 7 days and is a classic symptom of measles. The government has established a National Strategic Plan to eradicate measles by the end of 2023.

The country's recent measles outbreak has prompted the central government to take extraordinary measures.

Measles outbreak in Mumbai

"Seven suspected deaths and 164 cases of measles have been reported in Mumbai since September 2022. A one-year-old boy died of measles on Monday. According to BMC, most of the cases have shown symptoms of fever and rashes on the body."

It is an infectious disease caused by a virus that spreads quickly and can be severe and fatal in children. This disease, also known as rubeola, is characterized by high fever and red rashes. Mumbai has seen an increase in cases, prompting the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to dispatch a high-level multi-disciplinary team to assess the situation.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) confirmed cases of measles in Mumbai slum areas after three children died from the disease in the Govandi region. (Unsplash)
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WHAT EXACTLY IS MEASLES?

A skin rash that lasts up to 7 days is another classic symptom of measles. The rash usually starts on the head and gradually spreads to other body parts. (Pixabay)
A skin rash that lasts up to 7 days is another classic symptom of measles. The rash usually starts on the head and gradually spreads to other body parts. (Pixabay)

Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that causes respiratory illness. It is only preventable through vaccination and is still one of the common causes of death worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, there were approximately 110,000 global deaths in 2017, most of which occurred in children under five.

The virus belongs to the paramyxovirus family, which attacks the respiratory tract first before spreading to other body parts.

Measles cases have been on the rise in India. According to WHO, the country has seen over 11,200 cases of measles as of September 2022. In addition, cases increased more than double in the first two months of 2022, up 79% from the previous year.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF MEASLES?

A high fever is usually the first symptom of measles. It starts about 10-12 days after the exposure of virus and lasts for 4 to 7 days. A  red eyes, runny nose,  cough,  sore throat, and white spots inside the mouth are all possible symptoms.

A skin rash that lasts up to 7 days is another classic symptom of measles. The rash usually starts on the face and gradually spreads to other body parts.

Children who have not been immunized are at a high risk of measles complications. Even pregnant women are at risk, as are people who have not received the MR (measles rubella) vaccine.

Malnourished children are also at a higher risk, especially those with weakened immune systems and low vitamin A levels.

IS THERE A VACCINE TO PREVENT MEASLES?

Yes, there is a vaccine available to protect against this disease. To eradicate measles and rubella, India launched a one-time immunization campaign in 2017 for all children aged nine months to 15 years. The vaccination was completed in all states, including Maharashtra. In addition, the government adopted a National Strategic Plan in April to eliminate measles by the end of 2023. Adults and children who become infected should be isolated for 4 days after a rash appears.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) confirmed cases of measles in Mumbai slum areas after three children died from the disease in the Govandi region. (Unsplash)
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Vaccination coverage is required to prevent this disease, which breaks the chain of infections caused by airborne droplets. The only treatment is symptomatic. There is no medical cure for this disease other than the development of antibodies within a human being. Doctor's do not recommend giving aspirin to children.

According to a Mid-Day report, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) confirmed cases of measles in Mumbai slum areas after three children died from the disease in the Govandi region.

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