Measles cases up 300% worldwide in 2019, says WHO

Doctor holds vaccine

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The UN says the disease is "entirely preventable" with the right vaccines, but global coverage of the first immunisation stage has "stalled" at 85%, "still short of the 95% needed to prevent outbreaks".

The most recent outbreaks appears to have originated from travelers who visited countries experiencing outbreaks of the disease, including Israel, the Philippines and Ukraine.

In the first quarter of the year, 170 countries reported some 112,000 infections, up from 28,000 in the first quarter of 2018.

The states that have reported cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington. "Getting MMR vaccine is much safer than getting measles, mumps or rubella", the CDC said. If the outbreaks aren't brought under control, public health experts worry that the cases in 2019 will hit a record almost two decades after measles's "elimination" in the United States.

Measles cases rose 300 percent worldwide through the first three months of 2019 compared to the same period past year, surging to over 112,000 reported cases - and likely many more unreported - the United Nations said Monday, as concern grows over the impact of anti-vaccination stigma.

In 2000, measles was largely eradicated, having not been continually transmitted for a period of more than 12 months thanks to a highly effective vaccination program in the United States. This is because clusters of people are choosing not to vaccinate their children due to the spread of untrue anti-vax messages on social media.

The 90 new confirmed cases of measles last week brings the total number of cases in 2019 to 555, according to The Washington Post.

The mistaken belief can be traced back to 1998, when a doctor in the United Kingdom published a now discredited study claiming the MMR vaccine was linked to autism. "That's been proven. There is no association whatsoever between the measles vaccine and autism".

Measles can be serious for all age groups, but it is most unsafe for children under 5 and adults over 70.

It is one of the most contagious viruses around, however, nothing about measles has changed.

About 1 out of every 1,000 children who gets measles will develop encephalitis or swelling of the brain, according to the CDC.

"Measles is not a trivial disease " In January, WHO named the anti-vaccination movement among the top 10 global health threats for 2019.

Measles can also cause pregnant women to give birth prematurely or have a low-birth-weight baby. "When measles was rampant before the vaccines were available, it was one of the most devastating diseases globally and in the United States".

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