Measles cases are up by a third - that's 110000 unnecessary deaths

Baby and mother

Measles cases are up by a third - that's 110000 unnecessary deaths

Measles cases worldwide jumped more than 30 percent previous year compared to 2016, with increases recorded in wealthy European countries like Germany where vaccination coverage has historically been high, the United Nations said yeserday.

"What is more worrying than the increase in the cases reported is that we are seeing sustained measles transmission in countries that had previously not seen measles transmission for many years", Friede said.

The five-week long initiative that aims to vaccine 13.16 lakh children in the age group of 9-15 years in Meerut district got a kickstart against the deadly diseases-Measles and Rubella.

There's been a 30 per cent increase in measles worldwide.

"Without urgent efforts to increase vaccination coverage and identify populations with unacceptable levels of under, or unimmunized children, we risk losing decades of progress in protecting children and communities against this devastating, but entirely preventable disease".

"The resurgence of measles is of serious concern, with extended outbreaks occurring across regions, and particularly in countries that had achieved, or were close to achieving measles elimination", said Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, deputy director general for programs at WHO.

The increase in measles, a highly contagious scourge that had been almost eradicated in many parts of the world just a few years ago, was "deeply concerning", the organizations said in a report on the fight to eradicate measles.

Although severe cases are rare, measles can cause swelling of the brain and even death, says the CDC.

But Dr Soumya Swaminathan, of the World Health Organization, said: "Without urgent efforts to increase vaccination coverage and identify populations with unacceptable levels of under- or unimmunized children, we risk losing decades of progress in protecting children and communities against this devastating but entirely preventable disease".

According to WHO, global coverage from the vaccine's first dose is around 85% - an improvement since 2000, but still below health officials' 95% target - while coverage from the second dose lags well behind, at 67%.

Experts say that people who skip vaccination - due to vaccine fearmongering, poor health systems and laziness - are to blame. "Otherwise we will continue chasing one outbreak after another", he said.

Outbreaks touched all regions of the world, and researchers estimated that measles caused about 110,000 deaths in 2017. Most of the infected people were children.

The agencies also call for actions to build broad-based public support for immunizations, while tackling misinformation and hesitancy around vaccines where these exist. India, along with ten other World Health Organization southeast Asia Region member countries, has resolved to eliminate Measles -Rubella by 2020.

Measles elimination is defined as the absence of endemic measles virus transmission in a region or other defined geographical area for more than 12 months.

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