Measles cases QUADRUPLE in Europe after vaccinations are SHUNNED, health experts warn

21 February, 2018, 07:58 | Author: Earnest Huff
  • HSE Measles clinic for city

In 2017, the highly contagious disease, typified by a red rash throughout the body, affected 21,315 people and caused 35 deaths - compared with 5,273 cases in 2016 - World Health Organization researchers said in a

Neighbouring Italy has witnessed a big outbreak of measles, prompting the government past year to introduce a law that made it incumbent on kindergarten schools and child care centres to accept only children who are vaccinated.

However, the figures for Ireland show a reverse trend - with more cases in 2016 than in 2017.

Measles cases more than tripled in Europe past year, with outbreaks and epidemics fueled by low vaccination rates, the World Health Organization says. She describes the loss of lives as a "tragedy we simply can not accept".

Some 15 European countries experienced serious outbreaks of measles previous year, but the worst affected were Romania, with 5,562 cases, Italy with 5,006 and Ukraine with 4,767.

The WHO says there have been declines in overall routine immunisation coverage, as well as consistently low coverage among some marginalised groups and interruptions in vaccine supply or underperforming disease surveillance systems.

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Other countries with large outbreaks in 2017 were Greece (967 cases), Germany (927), France (520), Belgium (369), Britain (282), Bulgaria (167), Spain (152), Czech Republic (146), and Switzerland (105).

The best way to protect yourself from measles is to get the MMR vaccine.

Today (20 February), ministers of 11 countries will convene to discuss ways they can work together in order to achieve the goals set out in the European Vaccine Action Plan (EVAP) by 2020, including measles and rubella elimination. Other symptoms of measles can include a high fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes. The MMR vaccine provides immunisation against three deadly diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella.

"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".

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

In response to the burgeoning outbreak in Italy past year, the country made vaccines mandatory for measles and a number of other diseases for school children.

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