- Sep 2007
- N48 51.489 E2 17.67119
Measles is staging a devastating comeback that is killing thousands of children around the globe, the World Health Organisation warned yesterday.
Plummeting vaccination rates have led to an ‘alarming upsurge in measles cases in all regions’, including the UK, experts said.
There were 364,808 cases of measles reported to the WHO in the first six months of this year – triple the amount in 2018 and the highest level since 2006.
Several countries are currently battling deadly outbreaks, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where 4,000 people have died of measles already this year.
Yesterday Dr Kate O’Brien, director of the WHO’s department of immunisation, said ‘critical gaps’ in coverage are causing ‘widespread loss of life and disability’.
Speaking at a press conference in Geneva, Dr O’Brien said the UK was an example of a high-income country where falling vaccine coverage is particularly concerning.
She said: ‘There are countries that have recently lost their measles-free status, including the Czech Republic and the UK.
‘There has been an upsurge in measles in every region of the world, both in outbreaks, the total number of cases and number of deaths.
‘The fundamental root cause of that in every country is a failure of children to be adequately vaccinated and receive both doses of the measles vaccine.’
There were 364,808 cases of measles reported to the World Health Organisation in the first six months of this year - triple the amount in 2018 and the highest level since 2006.
Common complications of measles include:
- diarrhea and vomiting, which can lead to dehydration
- middle ear infection (otitis media), which can cause earache
- eye infection (conjunctivitis)
- inflammation of the voice box (laryngitis)
- infections of the airways and lungs (such as pneumonia, bronchitis and croup)
- fits caused by a fever (febrile seizures)