Health Care

Romanian Measles Epidemic Worst in Europe

Romanian Measles Epidemic Worst in Europe

ISTOCK, ALMIR1968There were 21,315 measles cases reported across Europe in 2017, four times as many as the previous year, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced yesterday (February 19). Italy also experienced a severe outbreak with 5,006 cases in 2017 compared to 843 the year before. Of the people diagnosed in Europe, 35 died of the disease, which struck hardest in Romania, Italy, and Ukraine. 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.

This post originally appeared on the blog of data firm Statista and is republished here with permission.

Romania recorded 5,562 cases and Italy had some 5,006 cases.

These figures comes after the World Health Organization declared measles "eliminated" from Europe in 2016 after 42 countries successfully disrupted disease transmission.

HIGHLY contagious measles outbreaks reached more than 20,000 across Europe a year ago after parents shunned vaccinations, health experts have warned. By the end of 2016, it was reported that 42 countries out of the 53 included in the region had interrupted endemic measles transmissions, however, it is recognised that outbreaks will continue until every susceptible child and adult has been protected.

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. Britain reported 282 cases in outbreaks across Yorkshire, the...

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"Unfortunately, it has been hard to get the message across to parents that MMR (measles, mumps and rubella vaccine) is safe".

Measles is a leading cause of death among young children even though a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available. All children should get MMR at 12 months of age and the second dose at 4-5 years of age.

Dr David Elliman, paediatrician at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, added: "Although the uptake of the both doses of MMR vaccine is high in United Kingdom, because measles is so infectious, it is not yet high enough to stop [the] outbreaks we are seeing".

The controversy led to some parents refusing to have their babies vaccinated.

Since the introduction of a process to verify the elimination of measles and rubella in 2012, the WHO European Region has witnessed progression in achieving the ultimate goal.


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