Measles surges to 23-year excessive as kids left unvaccinated | Information

Measles rose globally in 2019, hitting the highest number of reported cases since 23, according to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, which blamed falling rates Years of vaccination for the resurgence of the highly infectious and sometimes fatal disease.

The number of cases rose to 869,770 in all parts of the world, the highest number since 1996, while the death toll rose to an estimated 207,500. Global measles deaths have increased nearly 50 percent since 2016, the report said.

Comparing the 2019 data with the historic low in reported measles cases in 2016, the authors said the failure to vaccinate children with two doses of measles-containing vaccines (MCV1 and MCV2) in a timely manner fueled the disease.

“We know how measles outbreaks and deaths can be prevented,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a joint statement with the CDC. “These data send a clear message that we cannot protect children from measles in all regions of the world.”

The measles warning comes as the world struggles to contain the coronavirus, which first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. Governments around the world are hoping a new vaccine will end a pandemic that has so far affected more than 52.5 million people around the world and killed 1.3 million people.

“These alarming numbers should serve as a warning that in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic affecting health systems around the world, we cannot afford to look off the ball on other deadly diseases,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

“Measles are completely preventable. At a time when we have a powerful, safe, and inexpensive vaccine, no one should die from the disease. COVID-19 has resulted in dangerous decreases in coverage, which has resulted in an increased risk of measles outbreaks. Countries urgently need to prioritize catch-up vaccination against measles through routine services to reduce the risk of outbreaks and to ensure that no child goes without this life-saving vaccine. “

Measles is a viral disease that primarily affects children and can cause blindness, brain swelling, and severe respiratory infections.

Close gaps

MCV1 and MCV2 vaccination rates must reach 95 percent of people and be maintained at national and sub-national levels for the disease to be contained, the report said.

The cheap and effective vaccine, however, has been undermined by misinformation campaigns and conspiracy theories created in a now withdrawn and discredited 1998 study by former British doctor and academic Andrew Wakefield.

MCV1 coverage has stagnated between 84 and 85 percent globally for more than a decade, while MCV2 coverage has been growing steadily but is still only 71 percent.

While the travel restrictions, physical distancing rules and school closings imposed to fight the coronavirus have also helped contain measles. Fewer cases have been reported by 2020. According to the WHO, COVID-19 control efforts have also disrupted vaccination programs.

As of November, more than 94 million people in 26 countries were at risk of missing out on vaccines because the measles campaigns had been suspended. Only eight countries have resumed their campaigns – Nepal, Nigeria, Somalia, Ethiopia, Philippines, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Brazil and Central African Republic.

Mothers carry their children to a health center in Kathmandu. Nepal is one of the few countries that is resuming its vaccination program despite the coronavirus pandemic [Narendra Shrestha/EPA]The Philippines, battling the worst COVID-19 outbreak in Southeast Asia, have also resumed their infant vaccination campaign [File: Francis R Malasig/EPA]”Before there was a coronavirus crisis, the world was grappling with a measles crisis, and it has not gone away,” UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore said in a statement.

“While healthcare systems are under strain from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must not allow our fight against one deadly disease to come at the expense of our fight against another. This means we have the resources to continue vaccination campaigns for all vaccine-preventable diseases, even as we address the growing COVID-19 pandemic. “

The WHO and UNICEF published an emergency call to fight and control measles and polio on November 6th.

“The measles virus easily finds unprotected children, adolescents and adults because it is so contagious,” said Dr. Robert Linkins, chairman of the measles and rubella initiative management team and director of accelerated disease control at the CDC. “In addition to being a sign of poor measles vaccination, infection is a well-known marker or ‘tracer’ that vital health services may not reach the most vulnerable populations.”

A measles outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which began in 2018 and killed more than 7,000 children, was declared over in August after a massive vaccination campaign. An outbreak in Samoa late last year was also ended by mass vaccination.

The Measles & Rubella Initiative (M&RI), which includes the United Nations Foundation ICEF, WHO, international and national health authorities, and global health organizations, was established to put the world back on the road to measles eradication and Responding to vaccination delays – for measles and all vaccines – in all regions of the world.

UN Foundation President and CEO Elizabeth Cousens said the initiative was a “bold move forward” and would help fill gaps in access to vaccination.

“The fact that measles outbreaks are at the highest levels we’ve seen in a generation is unthinkable when we have a safe, inexpensive, and proven vaccine,” she said. “No child should die of a vaccine-preventable disease.

The Measles and Rubella Strategic Framework 2021-2030 aims to support national immunization systems, strengthen routine delivery of all vaccines, and identify and respond to measles outbreaks quickly and effectively.

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