India reports more than 10,000 confirmed measles cases through December 12


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Government data on measles in India was presented to the Lok Sabha today by Minister of State for Health Bharathi Praveen Pawar revealing a total of 10,416 laboratory confirmed cases and 40 deaths among children reported as of December 12, The Hindu reports.


The report notes that Maharashtra has the highest number of cases with 3,075 cases and 13 deaths, followed by Jharkhand state with 2,683 cases and eight deaths.

“Outbreaks are caused by a backlog of exposed children over two years ago,” he says. Dr. Giridhar Babuan epidemiologist at the Public Health Foundation of India, who worked on the National Measles Program in the past.

Measles is difficult to contain once it begins to spread because it is a highly contagious disease.

“Up to 9 out of 10 susceptible people who come into close contact with a measles patient will develop measles,” explains Dr. Babu.

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Epidemiologist Dr Ambrish Dutta said, “We didn’t know about COVID, but we do know about measles. We have a vaccine that is very effective at preventing infection, not just severe disease.”

Low coverage of measles-rubella (MRCV)-containing vaccine among eligible beneficiaries due to the pandemic has left unvaccinated children vulnerable to the infectious virus.

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