Measles cases in Europe `highest in decade´

08 February, 2019, 11:37 | Author: Cynthia Curry
  • One case of measles confirmed in Bell County

The area is considered a hot spot of anti-vaccination sentiment, with approximately 1 in 4 kindergarten-age children having not been given all of their childhood vaccines.

"Progress has been uneven between and within countries, leaving increasing clusters of susceptible individuals unprotected, and resulting in a record number of people affected by the virus in 2018", it said.

"We anticipated importation of measles from other parts of the world", Schaffner says, "but it has gained a foothold again because there are communities where a substantial proportion of children remain unimmunized". Although the MMR vaccine is considered to be highly safe and effective, its reputation has been eroded by fraudulent science and false news stories. It was publicized earlier that the disease was eradicated in the U.S.in 2000 but has ever since made a return that is attached to imported cases and the growth of the anti-vaccine movement.

Some 82,596 people in 47 of 53 countries contracted measles, the highest number this decade and three times the figure in 2017.

The percentage of children receiving the first dose of the vaccine also increased, to 95%.

Statewide in Washington, orders for measles vaccine jumped about 30 percent in January compared with the same month a year ago, climbing from 12,140 doses to 15,780 doses, figures showed.

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"The picture for 2018 makes it clear that the current pace of progress in raising immunisation rates will be insufficient to stop measles circulation".

Similar outbreaks have been occurring in Europe: In 2017, there were 25,863 cases of measles; past year, that surged to more than 82,000. "This means that gaps at local level still offer an open door to the virus", the WHO's regional director for Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab, said in a statement. We should never become complacent about our successes but continue to strive to reach the final mile.

Many factors contribute to suboptimal immunization coverage and the spread of measles.

"It should be a wake-up call. not only for every person [and] for every health center in Madagascar, but for the whole world", Kightlinger tells CNN, noting that some Americans choose not vaccinate their kids, while in Madagascar low vaccine rates are typically due to lack of access.

Measles, declared eliminated as a major public health threat in the United States nearly 20 years ago, has re-emerged this winter in the Pacific Northwest and other states where parents have relatively broad leeway over whether to vaccinate their children. The Regional Office is working with these countries to implement a coordinated strategy to address targeted programme areas.

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