The WHO alert continues: in 2018 it caused over 140,000 deaths.
The only weapon: the vaccine. In Italy cases are decreasing but in young adults coverage is scarce
Most deaths involve children under the age of 5 – those who are at greatest risk of infection, with potential complications including pneumonia and encephalitis and permanent disability, permanent brain damage, blindness or hearing loss.
The situation reported in Italy by the WHO data sheets indicates a reduction of 41% of cases between 2018 and November 2019, but also a high rate of absence of vaccination especially from 15 years of age and age that reaches a peak between 25 and 39 years. . GLOBAL MONTHLY UPDATE OF MEASLES AND ROSOLIA NOVEMBER 2019 – THE SITUATION OF MEASLES IN INDIVIDUAL COUNTRIES
- 11 DEC – The World Health Organization’s measles alert continues: worldwide over 140,000 people died from complications of the disease in 2018.
- Deaths that occurred when measles cases increased globally, with devastating outbreaks in all regions.
- In its latest update, the WHO highlights how most of the deaths concern children under the age of 5.
Infants and very young children are in fact those at greatest risk of measles infections, with potential complications including pneumonia and encephalitis and permanent disability, permanent brain damage, blindness or hearing loss. In Italy there is a decrease in cases and an increase in vaccinations even if the population of young adults between 24 and 39 years remains uncovered.
Recently published evidence shows that the measles virus can have further long-term health effects, damaging the memory of the immune system for months or even years after infection. This „immune amnesia” leaves survivors vulnerable to other life-threatening diseases, such as the flu or diarrhea, by damaging the immune defenses.
„The fact that every child dies from a vaccine-preventable disease such as measles is frankly an outrage and a collective failure to protect the world’s most vulnerable children,” said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus. „To save lives, we must ensure that everyone can benefit from vaccines, which means investing in immunization and quality health care as a right for all.”
Measles is preventable through vaccination.
However, vaccination rates globally have stagnated for nearly a decade. WHO and UNICEF estimate that 86% of children worldwide received their first dose of measles vaccine through their country’s routine vaccination services in 2018, and less than 70% received the second. recommended dose.
- Worldwide, measles vaccine coverage is not adequate to prevent epidemics. WHO recommends 95% vaccination coverage with two doses of measles vaccine in every country and in all communities to protect populations from the disease.
- Estimating the total number of cases and deaths globally and by region, the report finds measles most prevalent were in sub-Saharan Africa, where many children have not been vaccinated.
In 2018, the countries most affected – those with the highest incidence rate of the disease – were the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Liberia, Madagascar, Somalia and Ukraine.
These five countries accounted for nearly half of all measles cases worldwide.
„We have had a safe and effective vaccine for over 50 years,” said Robert Linkins, director of accelerated disease control and vaccine-preventable disease surveillance at CDC, the US Center for Disease Control, and chair of the initiative for measles and rubella. “These estimates remind us that every child, everywhere needs – and deserves – this life-saving vaccine. We must reverse this trend and stop these preventable deaths by improving access and coverage of the measles vaccine. „