Rise in measles ‘devastating’
LONDON — Measles is staging a devastating comeback in epidemics around the world as the virus exploits dangerous gaps in vaccination coverage, World Health Organization (WHO) experts said Friday.
Speaking after a two-day meeting of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization, Kate O’brien, the WHO’S department director, said the world “is facing an alarming upsurge in measles cases in all regions.
“The impact of these outbreaks is really devastating,” she said, “causing not only widespread loss of life but also preventable disability that is affecting family livelihoods and national economies, and straining healthcare systems.”
Latest WHO global data show that reported cases of measles — one of the world’s most contagious diseases — rose by 300% globally in the first three months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.
A poster in a Los Angeles clinic advises people to get vaccinated for measles before travelling. REUTERS FILES