Rise in measles ‘dev­as­tat­ing’

Edmonton Sun - - LIFE -

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

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