Health Care

World Health Organization warns of 'dramatic' rise in measles across Europe including Greece

The head of WHO's European Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination (MMR), Gunter Pfaff, is calling for increased vaccination efforts and an effort to counter disinformation campaigns about the safety of vaccines.

The WHO reports that there have been approximately 90,000 cases in the first half of 2019, which surpasses the 2018 total of 84,462.

Based on 2018 data, the disease is no longer considered eliminated in the UK, Greece, the Czech Republic and Albania.

Countries are declared measles-free when there is no endemic transmission for 12 months in a specific geographic area.

Vaccine hesitancy is a reluctance or refusal to be vaccinated or to have one's children vaccinated.

Near 365,000 instances have been reported worldwide this yr, the World Health Organization mentioned, virtually thrice as many as within the first half of 2018. In the same periods Greece reported 2,193 and 28 cases, Albania 1,466 and 475, and the Czech Republic 217 and 569.

"Each of these countries are examples that have extremely high national vaccination coverage".

"What we are trying to communicate to you and out to the world is we are backsliding, we are on the wrong track", said Dr. Kate O'Brien of the World Health Organization. "If high immunization coverage is not achieved and sustained in every community, both children and adults will suffer unnecessarily and some will tragically die".

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It is a highly contagious airborne infection that causes fever, coughing and rashes and, in certain instances, can lead to death. Almost 90,000 cases were recorded in Europe in the first half of 2019.

Ukraine, which accounts for more than half of the cases, is implementing a robust response, he said.

The RVC found that by the end of 2018, 35 countries were considered to have achieved or sustained measles elimination, compared to 37 in 2017. In the latter, vaccination against the disease will become mandatory in March 2020. A global issue The issue has also reared its head in the United States, which may soon lose its measles-free status due to outbreaks that have caused more than 900 cases of measles.

Every region in the world, except the Americas, is experiencing an increase in the number of cases of measles, a vaccine-preventable disease that can kill or disable children, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

Why is the United Kingdom seeing a rise in measles cases?

Pinterest said searches for "measles" and "vaccine safety" are among the terms that will prompt information from medical groups.

Numbers of measles cases were steadily declining worldwide until 2016, when the illness began a resurgence.

"Misinformation about vaccines is as contagious and unsafe as the diseases it helps to spread", WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a statement this week.

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