After eight new cases were reported on Saturday, 19 November, the measles outbreak in Mumbai has now affected at least 184 children. So far, nine children have also died due to measles in the city.
An outbreak of measles in the slums of Mumbai was confirmed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) after the death of three children between 26 and 27 October.
They also conducted a special surveillance in five localities in and near Govandi while alerting all healthcare facility providers to report cases too.
The deceased children were identified as a five-year-old named Hasnain Khan, a three-and-half-year-old named Noorain Khan, and a one-year-old named Fazal Khan, who happens to be their from Rafi Nagar in M East ward of Govandi, reported Mid-Day.
Some other suspected cases have been recognised too.
According to reports, the deceased children were either not vaccinated at all, or only partially vaccinated even though Measles Rubella, the vaccine for the disease is offered free of cost under the immunisation program.
FIT spoke to Dr Bharat, Assistant Professor, Sri Guru Ram Das Medical College, Amritsar, to understand more about the disease, and how to deal with it better.
What is Measles?
Measles is an extremely contagious disease which is caused by the measles virus. "Children are more prone to getting infected as they lack immunity as strong as that of an adult. The measles virus is quite deadly as well as when it multiplies it weakens and damages the respiratory system," says Dr Bharat.
"Once it attacks the body the immune system tends to shut down and then it becomes easy for other kinds of bacteria to start attacking too, making the body more susceptible to diseases like pneumonia, cardiac issues, etc.Dr Bharat, Assistant Professor, Sri Guru Ram Das Medical College, Amritsar
What Are Some Symptoms to Look Out For?
The signs and symptoms of measles take around 10 to 14 days to appear fully once the person is exposed to the virus. Usually the symptoms may include:
Skin rashes that are made up of large, flat patches that usually flow into one another
The infection occurs and heals in four stages over a period of 2 to 3 weeks.
Infection and incubation
Nonspecific signs and symptoms
Acute illness and rash
What Causes Measles?
Being vaccinated not only lowers the chances of getting the infection, but also reduces the extreme symptoms experienced if at all you get infected. If you aren't vaccinated, you're much more likely to get measles.
If you travel to areas or countries where measles is a common infection, the risk of catching it obviously goes higher.
Vitamin A deficiency
Having vitamin A deficiency does not only make one easily susceptible to get the infection, but it also makes the infected person experience more-severe symptoms and complications of measles.