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Measles in India

02 May 2012

The media has reported on an outbreak of measles in three villages in the Kasipur block of Rayagada district in the state of Orissa, east India. Almost one hundred suspected case have been identified and four children are reported to have died as a result of measles infection.

Most of those affected are aged below five and live in remote tribal villages with poor road access, kilometers away from the nearest medical facility.

Health officials have visited the villages and report that the condition of about ten children is critical and that three children have died from suspected measles. Several serology samples from the children have been sent for laboratory confirmation that the illness is measles. In order to prevent further spread of the outbreak, an immunisation campaign has been initiated.

Advice for Travellers

It should be confirmed that children have received their recommended doses of MMR at 12-15 months of age and again pre-school around 3 years 6 months, while unimmunised adults who have not had the disease themselves may consider vaccination if thought to be at risk. Two doses of MMR vaccine are required to give adequate protection.