How 'Completely Avoidable' Measles Cases Continue to Climb

Twelve Waikato people have caught measles so far in 2019

GILLIAN FLACCUS APTwelve Waikato people have caught measles so far in 2019

Other countries with huge jumps past year compared to 2017 are Venezuela (4,916 more cases, up 676 percent), Serbia (4,355 more cases, up 620 percent), Madagascar (4,307 more cases, up 5,127 percent), Sudan (3,496 more cases, up 526 percent) and Thailand (2,758 more cases, up 136 percent).

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has expressed concern over the world's measles epidemic and indicated that in ten countries, including Brazil, Ukraine and France, almost three quarters of the increased number of people in 2018 registered.

Measles is an extremely contagious and, in rare cases, deadly infection that was once thought to be almost eliminated from the United States due to widespread vaccination of children with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Henrietta Fore, executive director of UNICEF, said: "This is a wake-up call".

She added that a "lack of action today will have disastrous consequences for children tomorrow".

Brazil, which had no reported cases in 2017, recorded 10,262 a year ago.

The Philippines recorded 15,599 cases in 2018 up from 2,428 the year prior.

In Ukraine, there were 35,120 cases of measles in 2018, up from 4,782 in 2017. Yemen, Venezuela, Serbia, Madagascar, Sudan, Thailand and France saw the next biggest increases.

Farr explains the symptoms associated with measles. Particularly in the Ukraine, the Philippines and Brazil, there was significantly more disease.

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The virus can live for up to two hours in the air or on nearby surfaces.

"Once infected, there is no specific treatment for measles, so vaccination is a life-saving tool for children", it said. Ten countries account for more than 74 percent of the total increase, and the disease has reemerged in several nations that had previously been declared measles-free.

An unvaccinated IL resident who spent time overseas visited Portland International Airport and various locations in Salem, Oregon last week while contagious with measles, the Oregon Health Authority said.

Nandy said these findings are "absolutely" a cause for worry. "We also recommend people have chicken pox, hep A, HPV vaccines, and meningitis B vaccines", said Fredell. If we don't do something about it now, "it could get considerably worse".

But despite countless news articles-and doctors' attempts to communicate the risks of measles to their patients and the public-there's a lot of confusion and misinformation around this topic.

Amid a significant rise in measles cases across the United States, lawmakers met in a congressional hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to discuss what has been called "a growing public health threat".

The outbreak now in the Philippines has been blamed on controversy that broke over a dengue fever vaccine as potential side effects to the shot were not properly advertised creating mistrust among the public against all vaccines.

"Measles can have a lot of complications, so it can cause pneumonia, it can cause encephalitis - that means swelling of the brain - and in some cases, it can cause gaff", Daskalakis explains.

The risk of measles and its complications is highest for unvaccinated young children, World Health Organization says.

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