Panaji: Even as the World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed that around 10 million children were infected worldwide with measles in 2018 which killed 1.40 lakh people, mostly children, the state health department has said that the infection was negligible in Goa.
The state recorded only eight confirmed cases of measles and one case of rubella in the year 2018, whereas the number of confirmed cases of measles in 2019 has been recorded as ten while three cases of rubella have been recorded. Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons. Initial symptoms usually appear ten to 12 days after the infection. Common complications include pneumonia and diarrhoea.
Rubella is also a contagious viral disease that is transmitted through airborne droplets when infected people sneeze or cough. Though milder than measles, when rubella infects a pregnant woman during the first half of her pregnancy, there is the danger of fetal death or severe birth defects that especially affect the eyes, ears, heart and brain.
The vaccination drives undertaken by the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) have managed to control the contagious viral disease in Goa.
A senior doctor at the DHS informed that MR vaccine, which is administered at the age of nine months is estimated to have covered 94 per cent of the target population, and the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination, which is administered at the age of 15 months is estimated to have covered 90 per cent of the target population in the state.
In the months of February and March in 2017, a massive measles rubella vaccination campaign was launched wherein 97.3 per cent of the total target population was vaccinated and this year alone, over 13,000 children have already been vaccinated from April to November.
There is no data available with the DHS about deaths caused due to measles and rubella.