Measles infections hit decade high in Europe

Measles infections hit decade high in Europe

Measles infections hit decade high in Europe

More than 82,000 people in Europe were infected with the measles in 2018, marking the highest number of cases reported in the region this decade, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Officials now report a 500% increase in the number of vaccines being administered when compared to the same time past year.

Europe is not the only country impacted by a spike in measles cases.

Heidi Larson, a specialist in vaccines and public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the increase in cases was a "wake-up call on the importance of building confidence in vaccination".

There were 72 deaths from measles in Europe in 2018 compared with 42 in 2017.

That helps explain why public health officials get so concerned when outbreaks occur, which they have been with increasing frequency in recent years. Get vaccinated now! For more information on the current measles outbreak, please visit Washington State 2019 Measles Outbreak.

The Northwest cases are among three ongoing measles outbreaks in the US that sickened 79 people in January, according to the CDC. In the event of a measles outbreak, WAC 246-105-080 authorizes schools (public or private), child care centers, or the local Health Officer to exclude any child or staff who does not have appropriate documentation of immunity against measles.

The case prompted NSW Health to urge people travelling to South East Asia to ensure they are fully vaccinated before heading overseas.

Measles is a highly contagious and potentially unsafe viral illness that is transmitted through coughing and sneezing.

The measles vaccine, which is cheap and 97% effective at preventing the disease, has never been shown to be linked to any autism or any of a number of other conditions or disorders that the "anti-vaxxer" community has attempted to pin on it.

Symptoms of measles include fever, sore eyes and a cough, followed three or four days later by a red, blotchy rash spreading from the head and neck to the rest of the body.

Advocates on both sides of the childhood vaccines debate are expected to attend.

More than 82,000 people in the European region - an area stretching from Russian Federation to Iceland and south to Malta - caught measles in 2018, the most infections in the past decade, the agency said in an emailed statement.

A state of emergency was announced recently in the western US state of Washington after a measles outburst that has impacted over two dozen people and the majority of them are children.

Similar outbreaks have been occurring in Europe: In 2017, there were 25,863 cases of measles; a year ago, that surged to more than 82,000.

"We can not achieve healthier populations globally, as promised in WHO's vision for the coming five years, if we do not work locally", Jakab said.

Related news