Measles—one of the most contagious diseases—is on a rampage thanks to falling vaccination levels. The virus infected nearly 870,000 people last year, reaching numbers not seen since 1996, according to a WHO/US CDC report published yesterday.
Measles claimed more than 207,000 lives in 2019—an astonishing 50% rise in deaths since 2016.
Report authors point to a failure to deliver 2 doses of the measles vaccine (MCV1 and MCV2) to children on time as the reason for the explosion in cases.
It Gets Worse: Disruptions to vaccinations caused by COVID-19 have put more than 94 million people in 26 countries in danger of missing measles vaccinations this year, Reuters reports.
The Quote: “We know how to prevent measles outbreaks and deaths. These data send a clear message that we are failing to protect children from measles in every region of the world,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Silver Lining: “Since 2000, estimated measles deaths decreased 62% and measles vaccination has prevented an estimated 25.5 million deaths worldwide,” according to the report.