, 2022-12-12 08:00:00,
India, particularly Maharashtra, is currently seeing a measles outbreak. The state has recorded 925 confirmed cases and 17 deaths so far. Meanwhile, China’s government is finally relaxing its strict zero-Covid rules, so patients with a mild case of Covid-19 can now quarantine at home, but the larger challenges wrought by the zero-Covid policy remain.
What is the commonality between what we’re seeing in China and what we’re seeing in India, given the recent measles outbreak is in some ways an outcome of a public health system forced to divert attention to the Covid-19 pandemic? Is our disease surveillance effective, i.e. are we adequately tracking diseases as they emerge, to frame a public health response? We asked Dr K Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India, adjunct professor of epidemiology at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and former head of cardiology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
How are the measles outbreak in India and the relaxation of Covid-19 rules in China connected, in the larger context of disease surveillance?
They’re all connected in the sense that infectious diseases are going to be with us for quite some time to come. It was an incorrect notion that we could vanquish and completely eradicate all viruses and other microbes. Some, we have been successful [at eradicating], but mostly these are going to be part of our ecosystem. How we deal with these in terms of…
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