scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Monday, November 30, 2020

Measles cases reach 23-year high, killing more than 200,000

The global total for confirmed measles infections rose to 869,770 last year, the World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control said in a report released Thursday.

By: Bloomberg | Updated: November 13, 2020 10:48:06 am
Measles, Measles infections, Measles deaths, Measles news, Measles vaccine, world news, Indian expressChildren wait to be registered before a measles vaccination at a centre in Mbata-Siala, near Seke Banza, western DR Congo on March 3, 2020. (Photographer: Junior Kannah/AFP/Getty Images)

Measles cases reached the highest level in 23 years in 2019 and health authorities warned that many countries aren’t vaccinating enough people amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The global total for confirmed measles infections rose to 869,770 last year, the World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control said in a report released Thursday. The number of deaths soared by 50% compared with a low reached in 2016.

The percentage of people who have received a first measles shot has stagnated in recent years and the coronavirus pandemic is now lowering vaccination rates by halting immunization campaigns, putting 94 million people at risk, according to the WHO.

The situation is like an increasing amount of tinder that could result in a “forest fire,” Natasha Crowcroft, a senior technical officer on measles at the WHO, said on a call with journalists.

Nine countries represented 73% of all cases, with large outbreaks occurring in Congo, Madagascar, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, according to Crowcroft. The airborne disease caused 207,500 deaths last year.

“Measles is entirely preventable,” Seth Berkley, head of the vaccine group Gavi, said in a statement. “In a time in which we have a powerful, safe and cost-effective vaccine nobody should still be dying of this disease.”

Read more: How Measles Made a Comeback After Elimination in U.S.: QuickTake

For this year, the number of measles cases has dropped, mirroring declines in other infectious diseases. The precautions people take against Covid-19 are also effective in reducing the spread of viruses in general.

x

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest World News, download Indian Express App.

0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by indianexpress.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement