Measles outbreak: Govt orders for ‘outbreak response immunization’. Read here

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A Technical Expert Domain Knowledge Meeting was held on Wednesday under the leadership of Dr. VK Paul, Chair of Member (Health), NlTl Aayog to review the situation.

P. Ashok Babu, Joint Secretary, in a letter called on the State/UT Government to undertake prompt action on measles outbreak preparedness and response activities.

“Adequate availability of vaccines in all blocks and districts can be ensured for the vaccination campaign. States/UTs can communicate the request for additional vaccines to the Ministry of Health to conduct additional immunization activities,” Babu said.

The Union Health Ministry has further ordered to identify measles cases and conduct the mode of “outbreak vaccination” (ORl). This dose would be added to the primary series of the first dose at 9-12 months and the second dose at 16-24 months.

“One dose of MRCV to be given to all children aged 6 months and up to under 9 months in areas where measles cases in the age group under 9 months are greater than 10% of the total number of measles cases, to be identified by the state government/UT administration.Since this dose of MRCV is given to this cohort in “Outbreak Response Immunization” (ORl) mode, these children should therefore also be covered by the first and second dose of MRCV according to the primary (routine) vaccination schedule for measles and rubella,” the official said.

According to the Ministry of Health, the disease is known to see an increase in the number of cases during the period of November to March, every year. Therefore, an active surveillance mechanism for fever and rash should be strengthened for early identification of cases.

“A count survey of all children aged 6 months to 5 years should be undertaken in areas vulnerable to the outbreak to facilitate full MRCV coverage in an expedited manner. The institutionalized mechanism of the District Immunization Task Force under the chairmanship of the District Collector should be activated to review the measles situation on a daily/weekly basis and plan response activities accordingly.

The disease is known to be fatal in children with moderate and severe malnutrition. Therefore, the Ministry of Health has also ordered door-to-door tracing activities to identify these vulnerable children and provide preventive care with nutritional and vitamin A supplementation as well as early identification and prompt treatment. cases of measles.

In addition, states are also required to immediately isolate laboratory confirmed cases for at least 7 days from the date of identification.

“Advice for home care of these cases should be issued with reference to two doses of age-appropriate vitamin A supplementation with adequate nutritional support. Caregivers should be educated in identifying danger signs for immediate hospitalization of these children, namely persistent diarrhea, rapid breathing with chest indrawing (pneumonia) and ear discharge,” the Ministry of Health said. health.

The state should reserve wards and beds for effective measles case management in dedicated health facilities for the timely referral and treatment of these children and raise awareness about the disease. Meanwhile, earlier today, the Center deployed high-level teams to Jharkhand, Gujarat and Kerala to manage the measles outbreak.

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