'Outrage' as measles kills hundreds of thousands across the world

A New Zealand health official prepares a measles vaccination at a clinic in Apia Samoa

A New Zealand health official prepares a measles vaccination at a clinic in Apia Samoa

Research published in October showed that measles infection not only carries a risk of death or severe complications, including pneumonia, brain damage, blindness and deafness, but can also damage the victim's immune memory for months or years - leaving those who survive measles vulnerable to other risky diseases such as flu or severe diarrhea.

Huge progress has been made since the year 2000, but there is concern that incidence of measles is now edging up.

In 2018, Albania, Czechia, Greece and the United Kingdom, lost their coveted measles elimination status, meaning they've had continuous measles transmissions for more than a year after previously declaring the disease eliminated.

And so far 2019 has been even worse.

Currently, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is experiencing the world's largest epidemic.

The Pacific nation of Samoa has declared a state of emergency and unvaccinated families are hanging red flags outside their homes to help medical teams find them.

In the United States, spreading misinformation about the measles has been the domain of a group of prominent anti-vaccine advocates who have permeated communities, such as the Orthodox Jewish community in NY and the Somali community in Minnesota, distributing false information claiming vaccines are unsafe.

"The fact that any child dies from a vaccine-preventable disease like measles is frankly an outrage and a collective failure to protect the world's most vulnerable children", said the WHO's director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus.

Media caption'Vaccine fears cost me my children'How are the numbers calculated? In 2000, there were roughly 28,000,000 estimated measles cases worldwide.

2018 saw almost 10,000,000 estimated cases of the infectious disease spread around the world.

So scientists perform complex maths for each country.

Julieta Biesa habló de su supuesto affaire con Diego Latorre
Habíamos tomado un par de tragos y estábamos con los 'chongos' jodiendo por la calle. Fueron cuatro cuadras y medio que me dio miedo.

New ‘Mandalorian’ Baby Yoda Plush Toy Available On Pre-Order
Disney has so far released a collection of T-shirts, mugs, phone cases and tote bags which have left consumers wanting more. You can pre-order the Baby Yoda plush toy, but it won't be available until months after Christmas.

Juan Manuel Márquez ingresará al Salón de la Fama del Boxeo
Pero fue su inolvidable serie de cuatro peleas con Manny Pacquiao por lo que la mayoría de los fanáticos del boxeo le recordarán. Luego de un empate y dos derrotas en las primeras tres peleas, Márquez fulminó a Pacquiao en el cuarto enfrentamiento en 2012.

Dr Minal Patel, who performed the number-crunching, told the BBC: "We've had a general trajectory downwards for deaths, which is great". We're very involved about science deniers, we're very involved about misinformation and we're very involved concerning the potential of households, group leaders and even the political world to discern the distinction between correct scientific info, confirmed info and this misinformation.

"We have to really move from putting out fires, responding to outbreaks all the time and strengthen the essential immunization programmes so that we're not facing these situations country by country, month in, month out, year in, year out", Dr O'Brien insisted. In a warning over dangerously low vaccination levels and large outbreaks in several countries - spurred on by social media "misinformation campaigns" - the United Nations health agency insisted that anything less than 95 per cent coverage risked sparking an outbreak.

Since then, select countries have achieved measles eradication with widespread application of the vaccine.

Five countries-the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Liberia, Madagascar, Somalia and Ukraine-accounted for nearly half of all measles cases in 2018.

The Ebola outbreak in Liberia (2014-16) and plague in Madagascar (2017) have taken a toll on their healthcare systems.

While Congo's Ebola outbreak has captured the world's attention, the country's other urgent health needs like measles must not be forgotten, said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO's regional director for Africa.

The other issue is people who do have access to vaccines choosing not to immunise their children. In 2017, there were 7,585,900 estimated cases and 124,000 estimated deaths.

What do the experts say?

In figures described by its director general as "an outrage", the World Health Organization said most of last year's measles deaths were in children under five years old who had not been vaccinated.

And because measles is so contagious - the virus can live in the air for two hours after someone who is sick coughs or sneezes -it's one of the first diseases to make a comeback when health systems start to break down.

Prof Larson said: "These numbers are staggering".

Recommended News

Nos complace proporcionar esta oportunidad para compartir información, experiencias y observaciones sobre lo que está en las noticias.
Algunos de los comentarios pueden ser reimpresos en otra parte del sitio o en el periódico.
Gracias por tomarse el tiempo para ofrecer sus pensamientos.