Measles Cases In Mumbai Cross The 150 Mark

New Delhi: At least 164 cases of measles have been reported in Mumbai as per Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and there have been seven deaths due to the viral infection so far. Measles, a highly contagious viral infection, is associated with high mortality in children less than 2 years of age. There is no specific cure for measles. It is advised for parents to get their kids in the age group of 9-16 years vaccinated against the disease. The symptoms of measles are fever, rash, cough, running nose and red eyes. However, the complications of the disease in partially vaccinated or unvaccinated can be severe and deadly.

“Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that is characterised by fever, typical rash(maculopapular) and the 3 Cs – cough, coryza (running nose) and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Since the disease is highly infectious – which means anyone who is not immune and gets exposed will get the disease – it is important that all children are vaccinated against it. The mortality is highest in children less than 2 years of age, malnourished children and non-immune adults,” Dr Amin Kaba, Consultant Pediatrician & Neonatologist, Masina Hospital told Hindustan Times

The disease starts with very high fever followed a few days later by tiny red rashes on the face and behind the ears which then spread all over the body; eyes and oral cavity also become red, Dr Sanjeev Dutta, HOD and Sr Consultant Pediatrics, Marengo QRG Hospital, Faridabad told HT.

“The treatment is ensuring good hydration with oral rehydration solution and other liquids and paracetamol for controlling fever. Measles may be complicated with pneumonia and ear infection which may require appropriate treatment and even hospitalisation,” says Dr Dutta.

Unvaccinated and malnourished children are at high risk of developing life-threatening conditions from measles which could cause death or disability.

“The measles-infected child has a suppression of the immunity and hence can land up with complications like blindness, pneumonia, diarrhoea and even death. A devastating late onset complication is SSPE (subacute sclerosing panencephalitis) which leaves the child with irreversible brain damage. All children diagnosed with measles are given mega doses of Vitamin A to prevent complications,” Dr Kaba added.

The disease is easily preventable by getting vaccinated against it. The Government of India recommends 2 doses of measles-containing vaccine at 9 months and 16 months. The IAP recommends an additional booster at the age of 5 years.

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