Mumbai struggles to contain a measles outbreak when the virus kills 10 children

In Mumbai, it’s a big leap from the last couple of years. In 2019, the city had 25 measles cases, and in 2020, only nine cases were reported for the entire year. But this year, in less than two months, 233 cases have been reported.

There are currently seven hotspots in Mumbai – Dharavi, Govandi, Kurla, Mahim, Bandra and Matunga reporting the maximum number of cases.

“The beginning of the outbreak was shown in October when the city reported 60 cases compared to just 25 in September this year. That’s when we decided to start looking into the slums by reporting the maximum number of cases,” said Dr Mangala Gomare, executive health officer, BMC.

The survey revealed that due to the pandemic, measles vaccination of children has been compromised. Nearly 20,000 children have lost their measles vaccine.

“Our survey report shows that only 41% of eligible children received the vaccination. We have started raising awareness in these slums and keeping track of the children who are missing them. We also organize vaccination camps for them,” Dr. Gomare told WION.

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BMC issued a notice stating, “In light of the measles outbreak in Mumbai, all citizens are urged to vaccinate their children aged 9 months to 5 years with a measles-containing vaccine.”

To contain the spread, the municipality organized vaccination camps, door-to-door surveys and awareness sessions.

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