Shillong, Oct 26: Even as the State is carrying out a massive campaign to eliminate Measles and control Rubella, a suspected Measles outbreak has been reported in Meghalaya. About 8 cases of suspected Measles cases were initially reported from Samin Rongal Village, under Songsak PHC area of East Garo Hills District. Measles and Rubella are highly infectious viral infections that can cause severe disabilities like blindness, brain fever, deafness, mental retardation and even death due to complications like chest infection and diarrhoea.
The outbreak investigation was done by the district team on Wednesday last and 50 suspected cases were identified. Blood samples have been collected from 5 cases and also a throat swab. The samples have been sent to Guwahati Medical College for testing and results are expected soon. During the last couple of years, 5 outbreaks have been investigated in Meghalaya and 3 were confirmed as Rubella while the other 2 were confirmed as Measles.
The ongoing drive with the Measles Rubella (MR) vaccine has already covered over 7,75,000 children across the state which is about 60% of the total target of 12, 75,000. The coverage is maximum in East & West Jaintia Hills districts, while East Khasi Hills coverage is the minimum at about 40% only.
The Health and Family Welfare Department, Government of Meghalaya has appealed to all sections of the society to join hands and come forward to ensure that we are able to immunize all children of the age from 9 months to 15 years. ‘This will prevent such outbreaks of these vaccine preventable diseases in the future days. These diseases have no cure and can only be prevented by vaccination with the MR vaccine. Let us resolve and try to make Meghalaya free from Measles and Rubella,’ the department stated.