Published: Sun, March 03, 2019
Medicine | By Ray Hunter

Measles cases climb to 13470; 203 dead as of Feb 22 - DOH

Measles cases climb to 13470; 203 dead as of Feb 22 - DOH

Gaps in health infrastructure, civil unrest, low community awareness, complacency, and vaccine hesitancy have led to outbreaks in both developing and developed countries.

"These cases haven't happened overnight". She also warned that a lack of action today will have disastrous consequences tomorrow.

Most of the cases were recorded in the National Capital Region, Cagayan and MIMAROPA, Domingo said. The Philippines was second with an increase of more than 13,000 (from a little over 2,000 in the whole of 2017). Only if 95 percent of the population are vaccinated, their immunity also to people who can't be vaccinated for health reasons.

A total of 98 countries have reported more measles cases in 2018 than in 2017, a step backwards from what has been achieved so far in combating this preventable but potentially deadly disease, the UNICEF said in a statement.

Other nations with a surge in cases were Serbia with 4,355 cases past year, followed by Madagascar with 4,307, Sudan with 3,496, Thailand with 2,758 and France with 2,269.

The recent surge of cases is attributable to unvaccinated persons who travel overseas, contracting the disease elsewhere then bringing it back to vulnerable communities in the U.S.

"A patient with measles can go to the doctor, cough in the exam room and two hours later another patient coming into the same exam room can be infected", Peterson says. Likewise, it can be very hard to combat the disease, as there is no specific treatment apart from pre-emptive vaccination.

"You can see that if we carry on with this trend, that the incidence of measles is going to continue to grow", said Buchinsky.

Ukraine saw the highest on-year increase with 35,120 reported cases in 2018.

Michelle Mello, a professor of law and health research and policy at Stanford University, says the bar for claiming an exemption from vaccine requirements has been very low in many states. "Yeah, in third-world countries they're dying of measles", Zedler said.

Nandy said these findings are "absolutely" a cause for worry. "What we all should strive for, that measles in the United States, we need to get to zero". "Other exemptions are for medical reasons as the MMR vaccine is a live vaccine, and people with compromised immune systems can not have the vaccine", said Fredell.

"In particular, the Ministry's clinicians are recommending infants aged 6-15 months travelling to countries where there is a current measles outbreak be given MMR vaccine before they travel".

According to Senior Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Karen Broome, Barbados has not documented a case of measles since 1990. The Western Balkan nation had an increase of 4,355 cases from 2017 to 2018.

Every single death by measles is preventable. The risk of measles and its complications is highest for unvaccinated young children, World Health Organization says.

The measles vaccine is usually given as part of a battery of vaccinations that prevent illnesses like mumps and rubella, and are effective in 97% of people.

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