Posted: Updated – Thursday, November 22 – 02:16 PM
New Delhi/Mumbai: A high-level multidisciplinary team has been dispatched to Mumbai to assess the surge in measles cases in the city, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.
The team will assist state health authorities in developing public health measures and facilitate the implementation of necessary control and containment measures, it said.
The three-person central team to Mumbai consisted of experts from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in New Delhi, Madam Harding Medical College in New Delhi and the Pune District Health and Family Welfare Office in Maharashtra.
The team was led by Dr. Anubhav Srivastava, Deputy Director of the NCDC Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) at the Ministry of Health.
It added that the team will also conduct site visits to investigate the outbreak and assist the state health department in managing the increasing measles cases reported in Mumbai in terms of public health measures, management guidelines and protocols.
Three children in the city are suspected of dying from measles this year, and 90 others have contracted the disease, a citizen official in Mumbai said.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) executive health officer Mangala Gomare said measles cases had been detected in the F-North, H-East, L, M-East and P-South wards since January.
She said the highest number of infections were reported from the Govandi area at 23. Three deaths were also reported in the same area – two brothers aged 3 and 5 and their 5-year-old cousin.
A citizen doctor told PTI that BMC has set up a special ward at Kasturba Hospital in Chinchpokli to treat children infected with measles, where about 35 patients are being treated.
According to BMC officials, 10 percent of children infected with measles and rubella are not fully vaccinated, while 25 percent are not vaccinated at all.
They called on parents to vaccinate children aged 9-16 against the disease.
“In measles, the child develops a fever, cold, cough and a red rash on the body. In some vaccinated or unvaccinated children, complications from this disease can be severe,” said a statement released by BMC.