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Measle's case was spiked by around 30% last year, says the report

Reported cases of measles spiked in 2017, threatening years of public health problems and pointing to gaps in vaccination coverage…

Reported cases of measles spiked in 2017, threatening years of public health problems and pointing to gaps in vaccination coverage worldwide, according to new data released on Thursday from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Between 2000 and 2017, reported cases of measles decreased by 83%, saving about 21 million lives and resulting in a reduction in measles mortality by 80%, showing the new data. But towards the end of this period, researchers saw a worrying trend: between 2016 and 2017, reporting of measles increased by 31% globally.

Increases were observed in almost every disease surveillance area, with the largest nails seen among the nations in America, Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. Only Western Pacific saw a decline.

Measles is a highly contagious virus infection that can cause rashes, high fever and cough. In severe cases it may lead to swelling of the brain, pneumonia, vision loss or death. The virus can be prevented by two vaccinations.

Mesh drops also grow in countries that largely eliminate the disease suggesting that reluctance to get the vaccine may be owed, according to healthcare officers. “Gaps in vaccination coverage” resulted in 1

10,000 deaths, according to WHO.

For example, in Italy, where the anti-vaccine’s feel is particularly strong, measles have become a renewed public health problem.

According to the WHO, global coverage from the first dose of the vaccine is approximately 85%, an improvement since 2000, but still under the health-care 95% target, while the coverage from the second dose is well behind, 67%.

“Without urgent efforts to increase vaccination coverage and identify populations with unacceptable levels of under or unimmunized children, we risk losing decades of advances in protecting children and communities from this devastating but completely preventable disease,” said CEO Director General of Program Dr Soumya Swaminathan in a statement.

Write to Jamie Ducharme at [email protected]

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