Measles cases surge in DK and Udupi this year

11:33 AM Sep 07, 2023 | Team Udayavani |

Compared to the previous year, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts have witnessed a significant increase in measles cases this year. Last year, there were only three cases reported in Dakshina Kannada and five in Udupi, whereas this year, the numbers have surged to 141 and 16, respectively.


A program called ‘Mission Indradhanush,’ part of the National Health Campaign, aims to identify and vaccinate pregnant women and children aged 0 to 5 who have missed regular vaccinations. Last year, this campaign was not conducted, resulting in only 81 individuals being tested. This year, the campaign has resumed, leading to 299 individuals being tested. Notably, cases that are typically seen in children have also been detected in young adults.

When suspected cases arise – characterized by high fever and body blisters without discharge – throat fluid and blood samples are sent for measles or rubella testing. However, due to the absence of a government laboratory in Dakshina Kannada or Udupi districts, samples must be sent to HIMS, Hassan, or NIV, Bengaluru. This process can take 5 to 6 days, potentially delaying treatment and worsening symptoms. Consequently, there is a growing demand for a local laboratory, particularly in Udupi.

While Udupi may have seen an increase in measles cases compared to the previous year, it does not constitute an outbreak, defined as more than five cases within a taluk over four weeks.

Symptoms of measles/rubella are similar and include high fever, red spot-like blisters on the body, rashes on the face, arms, neck, and feet, along with symptoms like dry cough, runny nose, and scratchy throat. It is advisable to isolate affected individuals.


In Dakshina Kannada, the increase in measles cases could be attributed to enhanced screening efforts and heightened public awareness about Measles/Rubella.

“Medical colleges have also been instructed to promptly screen and treat individuals displaying any related symptoms,” said Dr. Rajesh, RCH Officer, D.K. District.


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