Mumbai measles: India outbreak claims 12 children
Authorities report that measles has killed 12 children in Mumbai, a city in western India, and its surrounding areas.
When three kids died within 48 hours, the first death was reported around October 26–27.
Up until Wednesday, there had been 233 confirmed cases in the city this year, a threefold increase from the 92 cases and two reported deaths in 2016.
Authorities claim that the COVID pandemic’s slow vaccination drive is to blame for the rise in infections.
The most recent reported death was that of an eight-month-old baby on Tuesday who had only received a partial immunization, according to a press release from the local municipal body.
Even more so than COVID, measles can spread quickly and lead to serious complications, especially in young children under the age of five.
Two doses of the mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR) vaccine can protect against the illness, which causes coughing, rashes, and fever.
In Europe’s nations with low MMR vaccination rates, there have been a number of sizable outbreaks.
If they are exposed and unprotected, nine out of ten individuals risk contracting it.
In addition to producing a characteristic rash, measles can occasionally result in deadly consequences such as pneumonia and brain damage.
Almost all of these dangers can be eliminated through vaccination.
The MMR vaccine, given in two doses, provides 99% protection from measles, rubella, and mumps, as well as roughly 88% protection from mumps.
The number of children obtaining these vaccinations on time has, however, decreased alarmingly since the COVID pandemic began.
23 million children in 2020 will not receive all recommended childhood vaccinations. According to Unicef, that represents a rise of 3.7 million from 2019 and the largest amount since 2009.
According to authorities in Mumbai, the pandemic is to blame for approximately 20,000 children not receiving their measles vaccinations on time.
Dr. Mangala Gomare, Mumbai’s executive health officer, told The Indian Express newspaper, “Now, we are tracking all these kids and holding vaccination clinics on priority.”
The drive, according to health officials, is also being hampered by other problems like vaccine hesitancy.
Shreya Salvi, a health volunteer, told the newspaper that some parents refuse to vaccinate their children because they experience a mild fever and pain where the vaccine was administered.