Declining Vaccination Rates Part Of Big Measles Spikes Across Europe

Measles cases jump by 400% in Europe       Best protection is MMR vaccine

In 2016, only about one-third of people in that country had received two doses of the vaccine against measles. But previous year that number soared to 21,315, with 35 deaths. The global health watchdog also said vaccine supplies and "underperforming disease surveillance systems" in several European countries have contributed significantly to the rash of recent measles cases. Although it usually clears in 7-10 days, complications of the illness can be fatal. "This short-term setback can not deter us from our commitment to be the generation that frees our children from these diseases once and for all". Britain reported 282 cases in outbreaks across Yorkshire, the...

It tested 1,213 specimens a year ago, resulting in less than two dozen confirmed cases.

Dr Mary Ramsey, head of immunisation at PHE, said those who had not been vaccinated and had recently travelled to Romania, Italy or Germany were at risk.

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Dr. Mai Mannix, Director of Public Health in the Mid-West stated that ' MMR vaccine is the safest way that parents can protect their children against measles as infants, young children and their families are particularly vulnerable.

Large outbreaks of measles were reported in 15 countries housed within the WHO European Region (which includes 53 countries), with the highest number of cases in Romania (5562), Italy (5006) and Ukraine (4767).

But outbreaks will continue to occur until every susceptible child and adult is protected.

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Global health chiefs have calculated that there has been a 400 per cent rise in the number of measles across Europe in the past year.

Actions to stop the current outbreaks and prevent new ones are taking place on various fronts.

Most deaths from measles result from severe complications such as diarrhoea, dehydration, brain inflammation or respiratory infections, according to Medicins Sans Frontiers. "This short-term setback can not deter us from our commitment to be the generation that frees our children from these diseases once and for all".

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The surge is being attributed to a measles outbreak in 15 of the 53 countries that the World Health Organization designates as part of its Europe region.

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