Europe reports 26,000 measles cases this year

According to European health officials, there have been more than 26,000 measles cases reported this year through October, which is a three-fold increase in cases from the same time period in 2007.
France accounted for approximately 14,000 of the cases, which have mainly occurred in children older than five and in young adults. There have also been nine deaths as a result of the outbreaks, the Associated Press reports.
The report, published Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also identifies big outbreaks of the disease in Uzbekistan, Macedonia, Romania and Spain.
“We are seeing a surge of cases much larger than we’ve seen in the past five or six years,” Rebecca Martin, the immunization program manager for WHO’s Europe office in Copenhagen, said, according to the Associated Press. “Over the years, people who haven’t been vaccinated are now giving the virus a big opportunity to spread."
While the report said that overall vaccination rates in Europe were high, they did not meet the 95 percent target needed to stop outbreaks.
The U.S. has 205 measles cases this year, which represent the most cases in a decade. Nearly all of the cases are linked to other regions, including 20 cases from Europe. The U.S. typically only has approximately 50 cases a year.
The measles shot was tainted by research published by Andrew Wakefield in 1998 that has since been discredited. The research was suggestive of a potential link between autism and the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella.