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Chickenpox and measles clusters among college students in Pune, Maharashtra

Deoshatwar, Avinash R., Bondre, Vijay P., Tandale, Babasaheb V.
VirusDisease 2017 v.28 no.3 pp. 337-340
children, college students, educational institutions, hosts, immunity, issues and policy, measles, vaccines, virology, young adults, India
Chickenpox and measles, both vaccine preventable febrile rash illnesses, present in a comparatively severe form among young adults/adults than among children. Immunity levels against chickenpox are not known in India and those against measles have been found variable across the country. Places where students or adults/young adults from various parts of the country come together pose a peculiar challenge in preventive policy making regarding these diseases. In this article, we present findings from parallel outbreaks of the two diseases in a graduate/postgraduate institute in the city of Pune. A team from National Institute of Virology [Pune] investigated outbreak of febrile rash illness in a premier graduate institute and found that it was a case of two parallel outbreaks of chickenpox and measles. In this outbreak chickenpox cases did not present with greater severity but measles cases were severe. The concerned institute hosts more than 800 students and 300 staff including faculty. These outbreaks were contained because of the alert physician in the institute; but it also highlights a need for uniform policies across such educational institutions in the country.