In the first half of the year2019 there has been a sharp increase in measles cases globally. According to preliminary figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), in the first six months of the year, there was the highest reported number of measles cases in 2006 over the same period. By the end of July, nearly 365,000 cases of measles had been registered in 182 countries - nearly three times as many as in the same period last year and more than in 2018. At that time, more than 350,000 measles cases were reported worldwide - more than twice as many as the year before.
Measles Disease has been particularly strong in Africa. Compared to the same period of the previous year, there was an increase of 900 percent in the first six months. In the Western Pacific region, according to WHP, there was an increase of 230%. In the Europe region, it rose by 120 percent. In addition to the EU, the region also includes Russia, Turkey, Israel, as well as the Caucasus and Central Asian states.
Masernis is one of the most contagious diseases in the world. Most affected are children. Survivors may suffer brain damage or become blind and deaf. The WHO demands more vaccinations against the disease. "Millions of people are in danger worldwide," she warns, also urging travelers to check their vaccination status. From the age of six months, each should be vaccinated at least 15 days before a trip to affected areas.
The UN organization points out that the numbers represent only a fraction of actual illnesses. The most recent WHO estimates of true numbers refer to 2017. According to this, 6.7 million people had measles and 110,000 had died of it. Until 2016, measles numbers worldwide were on the decline.
This also applies to Germany, where less and less measles cases have been reported in recent years. According to information from the Robert Koch Institute in 2018, just under 930 measles cases in 2017, around 540 cases were reported. However, there is probably a trend reversal here as well. This year, several federal states have already reported more cases of measles than in the same period of the previous year.
Experts explain this increase with the fact that many children are no longer vaccinated against measles. Just recently, the health insurance company Barmer reported that more than one in five babies born in 2015 was not or not fully vaccinated against measles in their first two years of life.
In July, the big coalition launched a law on measles vaccination in Germany. As of March 2020, parents will need to prove to a day care center or school that they have been vaccinated before accepting their child. However, the Bundestag still has to vote in favor of the law.