Cases of measles growing in Europe

There has been a considerable increase in measles in Europe during the first two quarters of this year, according to the World health Organisation. Chiefs at the WHO are ashing for a strengthening of immunisation in order to eradicate the disease.

This extremely contagious viral infection, which is very dangerous for children, is bouncing back in Europe. It has even reappeared in some countries in which it had been eradicated: the United Kingdom, Greece, the Czech Republic and Albania.

In the first half of 2019, cases of measles rose to 89,994, according to the evaluation made by the WHO in 48 European countries -more than double in comparison with the same period in 2018- where there were at least 44,175 cases.

“The return of the transmission of measles is a worrying problem: if we do not establish and maintain high coverage of immunisation in each community, then children and adults will suffer unnecessarily, and some will be condemned to a tragic death”, said Gunter Pfaff, president of the Regional Committee for the Verification of the Elimination of Measles and Rubella.

Up to 2016, measles was losing ground in the world. Shortly after it returned aggressively; since the start of the year, measles has killed 37 people on the old continent, the majority under the age of 19. It is transmitted through person to person contact or through the air, and infects the respiratory tract before eventually propagating throughout the entire body.

The epidemic is extending to Africa. Congo, Madagascar and Ukraine are currently the most affected countries. Measles has no cure, and experts recommend the use of vaccination as the only measure to combat the illness. But it is rejected in some countries, cultures and communities, which has led to the reappearance of the outbreak of measles, affirms Dr. Zsuzsanna Jakab, Regional Director of the WHO for Europe.

Source: Equatorial Guinea Press and Information Office

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