KARACHI, May 21: An outbreak of measles, though on a small scale, seems to have hit parts of the city with 20 to 25 children being taken to the Civil Hospital Karachi alone every day, Prof Ayesha Mehnaz, head of the CHK paediatrics department said on Monday.
“The situation is no different at other hospitals,” she said recalling that such an outbreak is registered every third year in the city.
“However, what is different this year is the time as measles, a viral infection reported during winters, is being witnessed in this hot season,” she noted.
Prof Mehnaz attributed the current outbreak to poor routine immunisation coverage in the country.
Senior child specialist Dr Mobina Agboatwala agreed with the professor, and said that in case the incidence rate of measles owing to any reason may be high, the government must initiate a mopping up exercise to prevent its spread.
She suggested that all children living in the areas neighbouring the particular place where some cases of measles were reported from should be immediately vaccinated against the disease.
She argued that the other children living in or near the affected areas might get afflicted sooner or later.
She said that provision for Vitamin A capsules to the vulnerable children should be ensured in order to avert the risk of partial or total blindness in the affected patients.
The doctors acknowledge that the chicken pox and skin allergies were also wrongly but quite frequently inferred as measles.
Administration of anti-measles vaccines to all children at least once in a life time is prescribed around the world.
Since the peak season as a norm begins from January, parents must be persuaded to ensure that all children up to the age of five years are immunised against the disease. —APP