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European countries are losing measles-free status


Several European countries have lost their measles-free status according to WHO, including the United Kingdom. - Worrying, says Günter Pfaff at WHO.

In all continents, except in North and South America, the presence of measles is increasing. Now, the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on several countries to make greater efforts to stop the infection.

- The recovery of measles is worrying. Unless vaccination is carried out and maintained, both children and adults will suffer unnecessarily. Some tragically will also die, says Günter Pfaff of the WHO's department for measles and red dogs, to the news agency AFP.

In 2017, 106,000 people died of the infection worldwide.

More European countries than the UK have lost their measles-free status. Albania, the Czech Republic and Greece were again affected by the infection in 2018.

Large dissemination of incorrect information

WHO believes that the reason for the increase is poor functioning health care systems and a large dissemination of incorrect information about vaccines. The UN agency has called on social media giants to take steps to stop the sharing of false beliefs about vaccines, something the WHO has been told.

Today, Pintrest said that the company ensures that information from WHO is displayed when someone searches for vaccine or measles on their platform. Youtube and Facebook have also taken action, Reuters writes.

In the 48 countries where cases of measles have occurred, almost 90,000 cases of the disease have been reported only in the first half of 2019, which is already more cases than in the whole of 2018. In the UK, 953 cases were reported in 2018 and during the first half of 2019, 489 cases reported.

Greece reported 2,193 cases in 2018 and 23 cases so far in 2019, Albania 1466 cases in 2018 and 475 in the first half of 2019 and the Czech Republic 217 and 569 respectively during the same periods. This is stated by the WHO according to AFP.

Ukraine accounts for half of the cases in Europe, but has introduced a rigorous program of action in the fight against the disease. The measures include targeted vaccination campaigns and vaccination of children at school.

At the end of July, the Public Health Agency stated that 17 cases of measles had been reported in Sweden so far this year, TT writes.

Source: svt

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