Eliminated No More: WHO Reports Major Measles Setbacks

Sounding “an alarm bell that is ringing across the world,” the WHO announced yesterday that 4 European countries—the UK, Greece, Albania and the Czech Republic—have lost their measles elimination status, France24 reports. The agency urged countries to step up their vaccination efforts and tackle misinformation.  

  • The first half of 2019 saw 89,994 cases, double the same period in 2018
  • Ukraine, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Madagascar reported the most cases
  • A 2-dose vaccine is credited with preventing 20 million deaths from 2000-2016
  • 6.7 million annual deaths are linked to measles
  • An estimated 9 in 10 cases go unrecorded

The US clocked its highest case count in 25 years and could soon lose elimination status.  
 
How do health experts feel about the reversal or progress? "We're embarrassed. We're chagrined," said William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University, ArtTechnica reports.

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