THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

Measles elimination waning, WHO wants to see more upward progress

The World Health Organization recently released a report claiming that treatments to fully eliminate the measles have waned.

According to new data released in the WHO Weekly Epidemiological Report and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the number of deaths from measles increased from approximately 122,000 in 2012 to 145,700 last year.

“Poor progress in increasing measles vaccination coverage has resulted in large outbreaks of this highly contagious disease, throwing the 2015 elimination targets off-track,” Dr. Peter Strebel from the WHO Department of Immunization, Vaccines, and Biologicals said. “Countries urgently need to prioritize maintaining and improving immunization coverage. Failure to reverse this alarming trend could jeopardize the momentum generated by a decade of achievements in reducing measles mortality.”

Member states of all six WHO regions have recently set goals to get rid of measles.

“Countries urgently need to prioritize maintaining and improving immunization coverage,” Strebel said. “Failure to reverse this alarming trend could jeopardize the momentum generated by a decade of achievements in reducing measles mortality.”

New stats aside, gains were made towards measles elimination in recent years as an estimated 15.6 million lives were saved via vaccinations from 2000 to 2013. The increase in 2013 was due in large part to outbtreaks in China, the Congo and Nigeria.

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