Mumbai and its neighboring territories are facing a measles outbreak, with 13 deaths in the last month and a dramatic increase in cases. Until Wednesday, the city had registered 233 confirmed cases, with over 200 of them occurring in the previous two months.
This is a significant increase over previous years. In 2021, there will be 10 instances and one death; in 2020, there will be 29 cases and no fatalities; and in 2019, there will be 37 cases and three deaths.
Among the surrounding areas which have reported a spike in cases, 51 cases were reported in Malegaon, 37 in Bhiwandi, 28 in Thane, 17 in Nashik, 15 in Thane Rural, 11 in Akola, 10 each in Nashik and Yavatmal, and nine each in Kalyan-Dombivali and Vasai-Virar (till November 17).
Due to the increase in these areas, the number of cases in the state has risen to 553 (as of Wednesday), which is a six-fold increase from last year, when there were only 92 cases and 2 deaths. In 2020, there were 193 cases and 3 deaths, and in 2019, there were 153 cases and 3 deaths.
So far, nine of the 13 deaths have occurred in Mumbai, with the remaining three occurring on the city’s outskirts, one in Nalasopara, and three in Bhiwandi. While three were aged 0-11 months, eight were aged 1-2 years, and two were aged 3-5 years.
The first death was reported on October 26-27, when three childrenbFazal Khan (13 months), Noorain (three and a half years), and Hasnain (5 years) all in the Govandi area- perished within 48 hours. Except for a 14-month-old girl who died in Thane’s Kalwa district hospital, all of the other deaths were recorded in Mumbai hospitals.
Dharavi, Govandi, Kurla, Mahim, Bandra, and Matunga have emerged as hotspots in Mumbai. While the city had 25 instances up to September, 60 cases were reported in October, signifying the outbreak’s beginnings.
Officials blamed the increase in infections on a vaccination gap caused by Covid. The measles vaccination must be given in two doses, at 9 and 15 months of age, according to the national immunization program.
“The vaccination suffered as a result of Covid-19.” We have approximately 20,000 youngsters who did not receive the measles vaccine. “We are now tracing all of these children and running vaccination programs on a priority basis,” said Dr. Mangala Gomare, executive health officer for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
While the civic body has increased vaccination, figures reveal that until October, when the outbreak began, only 41% of eligible youngsters in Mumbai had been vaccinated.