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'Alarming upsurge' in measles has devastating impact, WHO warns


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'Alarming upsurge' in measles has devastating impact, WHO warns

By Kate Kelland

 

2019-10-11T140842Z_1_LYNXMPEF9A1DF_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-MEASLES-WHO.JPG

FILE PHOTO: A measles poster is seen at Venice Family Clinic in Los Angeles, California February 5, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

 

LONDON (Reuters) - Measles is staging a devastating comeback in epidemics across the world as the virus exploits dangerous gaps in vaccination coverage, World Health Organization (WHO) experts said on Friday.

 

Speaking after a two-day meeting of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization, Kate O'Brien, the WHO's department director, said the world "is facing an alarming upsurge in measles cases in all regions".

 

"The impact of these outbreaks is really devastating," she said, "causing not only widespread loss of life, but also preventable disability that is affecting family livelihoods and national economies, and straining healthcare systems."

 

Latest WHO global data show that reported cases of measles - which is one of the world's most contagious diseases - rose by 300 percent globally in the first three months of this year compared to the same period in 2018. This follows consecutive increases over the past two years.

 

There is no specific antiviral treatment for measles, but it can be prevented with two doses of vaccine. The vast majority of cases of infection are in unvaccinated or under-vaccinated people.

 

Outbreaks of the disease are causing tens of thousands of infections and thousands of deaths the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, the Philippines, Sudan, Thailand and Ukraine, among other countries, the WHO said.

 

The SAGE experts said such outbreaks were clear indications of critical gaps in vaccination coverage and urged authorities to do more to raise rates of immunisation.

 

Alejandro Cravioto, the group's chair, told reporters on a teleconference from the WHO's Geneva headquarters that this was "an alarming situation".

 

He said latest global figures show about 86% coverage with a first measles vaccine dose and less than 70% for a second dose, "which is one of the root causes of the problem".

 

"The strategy needs to be reinforced," he said. "There is no reason why we cannot try to reach every child to enable them to be fully immunised and protected against this disease."

 

(Editing by William Maclean)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-10-12
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52 minutes ago, thaibeachlovers said:

Caused in western countries, IMO, by those that refused to have their children immunised.

The sound you hear is of chickens coming home to roost.

When large numbers of people suddenly adopt a belief it’s worth asking why.

 

The increase in fear of vaccines in the developed world is directly linked to the discredited claims of (struck off Dr) Andrew Wakefield and other anti-vaccine conspiracy theory peddlers, many closely linked with anti-science propaganda.

 

 

Elsewhere in the world the CIA’s use of a Dr within Pakistan’s public vaccination program to help track down Bin Laden has had far reaching negative consequences for trust in vaccination programs.

 

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/02/150227-polio-pakistan-vaccination-taliban-osama-bin-laden/

 

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2 minutes ago, Geoffggi said:

All the mass exodus of people from foreign countries into Europe and the west in general must also have played a huge part...... 

Sure, that's why in the OP the countries of " the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, the Philippines, Sudan, Thailand and Ukraine, " are mentioned.

 

Care to share your reasons for posting this in the form of a link or statistics, or is it just xenophobia?

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6 hours ago, rooster59 said:

"The impact of these outbreaks is really devastating," she said, "causing not only widespread loss of life, but also preventable disability that is affecting family livelihoods and national economies, and straining healthcare systems."

So why have I never met (or encountered anyone that ever met) somebody whose life was devastated by catching measles? (And I was born before vaccination for it, where we all caught it, and all fully recovered)

 

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2 minutes ago, stevenl said:

Sure, that's why in the OP the countries of " the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, the Philippines, Sudan, Thailand and Ukraine, " are mentioned.

 

Care to share your reasons for posting this in the form of a link or statistics, or is it just xenophobia?

Take a tablet and chill out, it stands to reason that there is a strong possibility of diseases spreading with the movement of people from underdeveloped countries or can your green head not accept this type of rationalisation .....

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5 minutes ago, BritManToo said:

So why have I never met (or encountered anyone that ever met) somebody whose life was devastated by catching measles?

 

That you did not recognize encountering these people is absolutely not evidence that you have not.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Geoffggi said:

Take a tablet and chill out, it stands to reason that there is a strong possibility of diseases spreading with the movement of people from underdeveloped countries or can your green head not accept this type of rationalisation .....

Your claim was ‘must have played a huge part’.

 

Back up your claim with data or accept you were dribbling unsubstantiated hogwash.

 

 

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6 hours ago, sunnyboy2018 said:

I just got my MMR and Flu shots.  Next week,  Hep A,B, Meningitis and due to a planned trip to Africa Yellow fever shot. 

I am so, so happy for you. You're my special boy.

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23 minutes ago, Geoffggi said:

All the mass exodus of people from foreign countries into Europe and the west in general must also have played a huge part...... 

You call it a mass exodus but what was their percentage in relation to the populations they were immigrating into? Germany took in about 2 million from the middle east which amounts to 2.5% of the total population.

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1 minute ago, bristolboy said:

You call it a mass exodus but what was their percentage in relation to the populations they were immigrating into? Germany took in about 2 million from the middle east which amounts to 2.5% of the total population.

Don’t go confusing him, he doesn’t do numbers.

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27 minutes ago, Geoffggi said:

Take a tablet and chill out, it stands to reason that there is a strong possibility of diseases spreading with the movement of people from underdeveloped countries or can your green head not accept this type of rationalisation .....

 

Just now, Geoffggi said:

You cannot educate pork....!!

Yes, when you have nothing you have to result to insults.

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