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WHO, CDC warns against measles threat

By Robert Preidt and Robin Foster
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, 11 Nov. (HealthDay News) – The world is facing an increased risk of a measles outbreak because 22 million babies did not get their measles injections last year due to the pandemic, the World Health Organization and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Wednesday.

They said 3 million fewer babies were vaccinated against measles in 2020 than in 2019, and only 70% of babies received both doses of the two-dose measles vaccine, far less than the 95% rate needed to vaccinate communities against a measles vaccine. to protect outbreaks, CBS News reported.

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

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

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

“While reported measles cases have dropped in 2020, evidence suggests we are likely to see the calm ahead of the storm as the risk of outbreaks continues to grow around the world,” he said. Kate O’Brien, Director of the WHO’s Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, CBS News reported.

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

More information

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on the measles.


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