Measles cases QUADRUPLE in Europe after vaccinations are SHUNNED, health experts warn

Measles cases jump by 400% in Europe       Best protection is MMR vaccine

Measles cases jump by 400% in Europe Best protection is MMR vaccine

The global health watchdog also said vaccine supplies and "underperforming disease surveillance systems" in several European countries have contributed significantly to the rash of recent measles cases. During the same period in 2017, there was just one reported case.

More than 21,000 people caught the virus in 2017, and 35 people died of it, World Health Organization said.

Neighbouring Italy has witnessed a big outbreak of measles, prompting the government a year ago to introduce a law that made it incumbent on kindergarten schools and child care centres to accept only children who are vaccinated.

Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, the WHO's regional director for Europe, said: "Every new person affected by measles in Europe reminds us that unvaccinated children and adults, regardless of where they live, remain at risk of catching the disease and spreading it to others who may not be able to get vaccinated".

The WHO revealed that 15 countries in the European region experienced large outbreaks previous year - that is 100 or more cases.

As a result of vaccination rates it is unlikely a widespread outbreak will happen, but smaller, localised cases could happen in parts where large numbers of kids and babies have not had their vaccine.

The HSE said in most cases those who contracted measles had not taken up the vaccine - something which experts say is driving the current surge in cases. The cases and deaths "are a tragedy we simply can not accept", she adds.

The Health Service Executive is running an MMR clinic in the Barrack Street Primary Health centre on the city's Edward Street from midday tomorrow to encouarge people to get vaccinated.

Eleven ministers of health were expected to meet Tuesday to consider methods of reaching goals set out in the European Vaccine Action Plan by 2020 to eliminate measles and rubella.

The overall risk of measles to the United Kingdom population is low, but due to ongoing measles outbreaks in Europe, cases in unimmunised individuals and limited onward spread can occur.

Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a viral infection.

Malta was declared measles and rubella-free in the 2016 report (covering 2015) and has maintained that situation due to its strong immunisation programme.

At this point the only way to prevent the spread of this illness is to ensure vaccination of all those who can be vaccinated.

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