Health Care

Measles cases hit record high in EuropeNaija247news

Measles cases hit record high in EuropeNaija247news”

The HSE has warned that most people who contract measles while on holidays do not know they were exposed to the virus until they develop the disease.

"Following the decade's lowest number of cases in 2016, we are seeing a dramatic increase in infections and extended outbreaks", says Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO regional director for Europe. The WHO said the highest annual total for measles cases since 2010 was recorded in 2017 when 23,927 cases were identified.

The MMR vaccine can prevent infection but discredited research 20 years ago that erroneously linked MMR to autism has stopped some people from trusting the vaccine.

The health agency said measles outbreaks have killed at least 37 people in the European region so far this year. A year earlier, only 5,273 cases were reported.

Seven countries in the region have seen over 1,000 infections in children and adults this year - France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, the Russian Federation, Serbia and Ukraine - the latter being hardest hit with over 23,000 people affected, accounting for over half of the regional total.

The measles virus can spread quickly by coughing, sneezing or personal contact with infected nose or throat secretions.

"The majority of cases we are seeing are in teenagers and young adults who missed out on their MMR vaccine when they were children", said Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at Public Health England. Experts said that anti-vaccine sentiment had allowed the potentially fatal disease to make a comeback.

To prevent outbreaks, World Health Organization says 95% of the population should be immunised.

The country's populist government has recently moved to overturn mandatory vaccinations for school children, suspending a 2017 law that obliged parents to prove their children had received 10 routine vaccinations, including measles, before enrolling them in a nursery or preschool.

This, of course, is the deliberately inflammatory website which, among other ludicrous claims, asserts that "vaccines contain multiple synthetic chemicals that should never be injected into the body and are part of the reason we have skyrocketing chronic health issues that have somehow become the new "normal" in our society". "Anyone who missed out on their MMR vaccine in the past or are unsure if they had two doses should contact their GP practice to catch up".

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