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4 things that parents can do to protect children from measles

With over 200 cases of measles in Mumbai, this year, parents must take preventive action and give their kids vaccinated, says expert

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While COVID-19 cases are on a steady decline in Mumbai, Maharashtra, the financial capital has been struggling to deal with another outbreak – measles among children. Till November 17, 2022, the state had recorded 538 cases. According to civic officials, Mumbai alone accounts for 208 cases. Last year, this figure stood at nine; in 2020, the number of measles cases in Mumbai was 25.

The civic authorities blame poor living conditions, lack of proper health services, sanitation facilities, and nutrition, poor immunity, missed vaccine doses, and large family sizes as reasons for the outbreak.

Unfortunately, very few parents are aware that measles is one of the leading causes of diarrhoea, pneumonia, and a lowering of immunity. This means that kids who get it can get caught up in a cycle of many diseases and even malnutrition, opined health experts.

To combat this illness and to spread awareness among school children, Apeejay School, Kharghar has planned to hold a session on December 03, 2022, for the parents and students where a few doctors will talk about measles, the signs of infection, and how to prevent the same.


To combat this illness and to spread awareness, we have planned to hold a session on December 03, 2022, for the parents and students where a few doctors will talk about measles

Tejaswini S Katdare, principal, Apeejay School Kharghar


The principal of the school, Tejaswini S Katdare said: “We have roped in a few doctors (parents of school students) who will talk about creating awareness on measles and dengue. Both these diseases have been on a rise in Mumbai. It will be an online session for parents of classes Primary to Class VII – the age group that is vulnerable to such illnesses,” Katdare said.

Dr Vaidehi Dande, Consultant Neonatologist, and Paediatrician, Symbiosis Hospital, Dadar said that measles is a viral infection caused by Moribilivirus. “It can infect only humans and spreads from human to human through close contact. The source of infection is nasal secretions and aerosols which are generated from the mouth while speaking or crying. It takes four days before and four days after for an infected patient to spread measles,” Dr Dande explained.


The rashes have a ‘sandpaper-like’ feel to the skin which disappears in a few days but leaves behind dark spots on the skin which fade over a period of few months

Dr Vaidehi Dande, Consultant Neonatologist, and Paediatrician, Symbiosis Hospital, Dadar


What are the symptoms for parents to watch for?

The infection starts with high-grade fever along with severe rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and eye discharge. The fever disappears by the fourth day and a characteristic rash starts appearing from the ears and face and spreading to the rest of the body.

“The rashes have a ‘sandpaper-like’ feel to the skin which disappears in a few days but leaves behind dark spots on the skin which fade over a few months. The infection is self-limiting, but complications can occur in five per cent of those infected. These complications become more common and severe in unvaccinated kids,” Dr Dande said. She added that children younger than five years of age are more vulnerable, so parents must be vigilant.

How to prevent the disease?

The vaccine is very effective in preventing the disease. The disease is milder and the complication rate is lower in vaccinated children who develop measles. “The first dose is to be given at nine months, the booster at 15 months, and ages four-five years. The vaccine is combined with mumps and rubella and sometimes chickenpox,” Dr Dande said.

Shalini is an Executive Editor with Apeejay Newsroom. With a PG Diploma in Business Management and Industrial Administration and an MA in Mass Communication, she was a former Associate Editor with News9live. She has worked on varied topics - from news-based to feature articles.

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