'Measles in Europe up 400% in 2017'

Outbreaks of measles increased 400% in Europe previous year, with the World Health Organization (WHO) warning the highly contagious virus has regained a foothold due to immunization decline and vaccine supply problems. This represents a fourfold increase from the 2016 figure, which reached an annual record low of only 5,273 cases. Romania had the most, with 5,562, followed by Italy, with 5,006, and Ukraine, with 4,767.

In its latest disease surveillance report for 2017, World Health Organization said declines in overall routine immunisation coverage and low coverage among some marginalised groups was the primary cause of the measles outbreak.

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

The announcement came ahead of a meeting of health ministers to discuss how to achieve goals set out in the European Vaccine Action Plan.

Romania, Italy and Ukraine reported the highest number of people affected, together accounting for over 70 percent of the entire number in Europe.

The WHO has previously warned that measles is still regularly found in certain areas of the world and it can spread to any country, including those that have eliminated the disease.

The organization said the spike in measles cases was mainly due to a combination of multiple factors including an overall decline in vaccination rates, interruptions in vaccine provision and poor monitoring.

The surge included large outbreaks (100 or more cases) in 15 of the 53 countries, but Ireland was not included.

· Those parents who are unsure if their children have had MMR vaccine.

"All cases include persons who are not vaccinated".

To prevent further outbreaks, a single MMR vaccine can be administered.

Cases were highest in Romania, Italy and Ukraine, with 15 countries, including the United Kingdom, experiencing large outbreaks.

"Parents of children in Limerick city and county, Clare and North Tipperary should ensure their child is fully vaccinated for MMR and bring their child for vaccination if they have missed or not already had the correct number of doses for their age".

Measles, a highly contagious viral disease, can cause long-term damage or even kill patients.

The process of verifying measles and rubella elimination by country, introduced in 2012, has moved the Region closer to its measles and rubella elimination goal.

At least two of the children also had developmental delays before they were vaccinated, yet Wakefield's paper claimed they were all "previously normal".

  • Santos West