WHO: global cases of measles triple in number

WHO: global cases of measles triple in number
A child is prepared for measles vaccination by Dr. Dennis Woo of the UCLA Health in Santa Monica, California. Photo: YouTube | UCLA Health

As vaccine misinformation becomes a looming global threat, recorded measles cases around the world have nearly tripled, the World Health Organization Warns.

2019 saw a drastic increase in measles cases with 364,808 recorded compared to the 129,239 cases recorded in the first seven months of last year. The figures show that worldwide measles cases have nearly tripled this year.

In 2000, the United States declared measles eliminated according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now, the highly-contagious disease is making a come-back with the troublesome popularity of the anti-vax movement. A two-dose vaccine is required to entirely prevent the contraction of measles but experts have warned that the recent months show a drastic decline in vaccination rates.

The United Nations health agency recently released new data that showed “the highest [registered] since 2006,” according to WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier who told the press in Geneva last Tuesday.

The WHO says that the figures shown in the report are problematic because only about one in ten measles cases are reported globally.

According to the recent report, the highest registered number of measles cases were from Congo, Madagascar, and Ukraine. Major outbreaks have also been reported in Angola, Cameroon, Chad, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sudan, South Sudan, and Thailand.

The agency says vaccination is needed to thwart the outbreaks as they urge “everyone to ensure their measles vaccinations are up to date”. Anti-vaxxers are opting out of immunization because of false studies suggesting a link between vaccines and autism.

“When enough people who are not immune are exposed to measles, it can very quickly spread,” WHO warned.

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