After Mumbai and surrounding areas, Aurangabad, Buldhana and Pune are also reporting cases of measles, said officials. With this, the state health department is anticipating a surge in cases till March next year.
Across the state, 82 outbreaks of measles have been reported, of which 34 are from Mumbai, 12 in Malegaon, 10 in Bhiwandi, six in Thane, four in Navi Mumbai, three in Vasai-Virar, two each in Aurangabad and Buldhana and one in Pimpri-Chinchwad. While 724 confirmed cases of measles have been reported, the number of suspected cases stands at 11,777.
Speaking to mediapersons, Dr Pradip Awate, state surveillance officer, said, “Usually, the five months between November and March is considered a high transmission period. So, cases might go up.”
“Currently, cases are spreading in two ways — either it is a complete outbreak and the transmission is sporadic. We are keeping a watch on the hotspots,” he added.
Officials said the state is identifying malnourished children and giving them Vitamin A tablets to ensure that their nutritional status improves. Task forces have been established in all districts to monitor cases of measles.
So far, 15 deaths due to measles have been reported in the state. Among the deceased, five infants were in the 0-11 month age group. Eight were in the 12-24 month age group and the remaining two were between 25-60 months of age.
Since the outbreak of measles this year, while 25,000 children have been given Vitamin A, 16,624 have been immunised with (measles-rubella) MR 1 and MR 2 vaccines in the state.
Dr Mangla Gomare, BMC executive health officer, said the vaccination drive organised in response to the outbreak in Mumbai will begin from December 1.
In all, 1,55,131 children in the nine month to 5 years age group will be given an additional dose of MR vaccine in 40 health posts. Also, 3,569 children in the 6 month to 9 month age group will be administered the additional jab in 14 health posts in areas where measles cases among children less than 9 months is around 10 per cent.