Government data on measles in India was presented to the Lok Sabha today by Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar which revealed a total 10,416 laboratory-confirmed cases and 40 deaths among children have been reported till December 12, the Hindu reports.
The report notes that the state of Maharashtra has reported the most cases with 3,075 cases and 13 deaths, followed by Jharkhand with 2,683 cases and eight deaths.
“The outbreaks are occurring due to accumulation of susceptible children for more than two years,” says Dr Giridhar Babu, Epidemiologist at Public Health Foundation of India, who has worked in the National Measles programme in the past.
Containing measles once it starts spreading is hard because it is a highly contagious infectious disease.
“Up to 9 out of 10 susceptible persons with close contact to a measles patient will develop measles,” explains Dr Babu.
Epidemiologist Dr Ambrish Dutta said, “We knew nothing about COVID, but we know about measles. We have a vaccine that is very effective in preventing infection, not just severe illness”.
Low coverage of Measles and Rubella Containing Vaccine (MRCV) among the eligible beneficiaries due to pandemic has left the unvaccinated kids prone to the contagious virus.
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