WHO, CDC Warn of Measles Threat

By Robert Preidt and Robin Foster
Health Day reporter

THURSDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) – The world faces an increased risk of a measles outbreak because 22 million infants were not vaccinated against measles last year due to the pandemic, World Health Organization and United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Wednesday.

They said 3 million fewer infants were vaccinated against measles in 2020 than in 2019, and only 70% of infants received the two doses of the two-dose measles vaccine, well below the 95% rate needed. to protect communities against an epidemic, CBS News reported.

Another concern is that a measles campaign slated for in 23 countries in 2020 has been postponed due to the pandemic, leaving more than 93 million people vulnerable to measles, according to health agencies.

“Large numbers of unvaccinated children, measles outbreaks, and misappropriated disease detections and diagnoses to support COVID-19 responses are factors that increase the likelihood of measles-related deaths and serious complications in children Kevin Cain, CDC’s global director of immunization, said in a statement, CBS News reported.

“We must act now to strengthen disease surveillance systems and close immunity gaps, before travel and trade return to pre-pandemic levels, to prevent deadly measles outbreaks and mitigate the risk other vaccine-preventable diseases, ”Cain urged.

“As reported measles cases declined in 2020, evidence suggests we are likely seeing the calm before the storm as the risk of epidemics continues to rise around the world,” said Dr Kate O’Brien, director of the Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Vaccines of the WHO. Organic Products, CBS News reported.

The measles vaccine protects against one of the most contagious human viruses in the world. The vaccine has prevented around 30 million deaths in the past 20 years alone, CBS News reported. In 2020, about 7.5 million people had the disease and 60,700 people died from it, health agencies said.

More information

Visit the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to learn more about measles.

THE SOURCE: CBS News

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