Nepal's Resurgent Measles Outbreak Can be Contained
Arjun Poudel with The Kathmandu Post recently reported the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal's Health Department is aggressively confronting the recent outbreak of measles that began in early 2023.
Nepal has committed to eliminating measles by 2023. But, to declare measles as eliminated, the number of cases should be less than five per one million people yearly.
Since measles is a vaccine-preventable disease, this goal indicates new initiatives are needed.
"We have been launching vaccination drives in the disease-hit areas only," commented Sagar Dahal, chief of the Immunisation Section at the family Welfare Division under the Department of Health Services, on February 10, 2023.
This indicates various districts must continue vaccinating children, which began in 1979, to increase the prospect of eliminating the disease in 2023.
Nepal is not the only country confronting measles outbreaks in 2023.
Just to the south, India has reported numerous measles outbreaks across the country in 2022 and 2023.
Last year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported over 12,000 measles cases were confirmed in India.
For example, measles vaccinations for children were launched in Delhi in February. And according to West Bengal, MMR vaccinations will continue into mid-February 2023.
In addition to measles, the CDC previously included Nepal in a travel alert regarding dengue outbreaks in Asia.
The CDC publishes a web app that enables international travelers to determine whether or not they need a measles vaccination before departure.
In the U.S., various measles vaccines are available at clinics and pharmacies.