Measles cases triple globally in 2019, says UN

U.S. sees surge of nearly 20 per cent in confirmed cases of measles, reports

CDC reports 90 new measles cases as outbreak approaches reco...

Ukraine, Madagascar and India have been worst affected by the disease, with tens of thousands of reported cases per million people. Numerous cases in the 2014 were associated with cases brought in from the Philippines, which also experienced a large measles outbreak.

USA federal health officials said on Monday the number of confirmed cases of measles in the United States this year jumped by almost 20 per cent in the week ended April 11 - the country's second-worst outbreak in almost two decades.

So far this year, 170 countries have reported 112,163 measles cases to WHO. If the current trend continues, the record of 667 cases set in 2014 will be eclipsed well before the end of this year.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there have been 555 individual confirmed cases of measles since the start of the year in 20 states.

According to the report, there have been 555 reported measles cases this year in the United States as of last Thursday, which is 183 more than last year's total.

Measles cases worldwide rose by 300% during the first three months of 2019 compared with the same period past year, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said, amid growing concerns over the impact of anti-vaccination campaigns.

Higher rates of the preventable but contagious disease - which can kill a child or leave it blind, deaf or brain-damaged - have been recorded in all regions, the United Nations agency said in a statement, appealing for better vaccination coverage.

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"When you make the decision not to vaccinate your child, please understand you're also making that decision for the people around your child", New York City's Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services, Herminia Palacio, told NPR on Wednesday. Just last week New York City, which has seen 285 measles cases this year, declared a public health emergency and ordered mandatory vaccinations in one Brooklyn neighborhood for people who may have been exposed to the virus.

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.

Before the development of the measles vaccine in the 1960s, the US recorded almost a half million cases each year, the CDC says.

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

In an opinion piece for CNN, WHO heads Henrietta Fore and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the world was "in the middle of a measles crisis" and that "the proliferation of confusing and contradictory information" about vaccines was partly to blame.

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