Measles on the rise: What you need to know about the disease

Measles on the rise: What you need to know about the disease

The number of deaths caused by measles in Europe quadrupled to 35 past year, the European regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported.

However, the numbers of measles cases jumped sharply in Europe in 2017, according to new data released by the World Health Organization. Last year 86 individuals were diagnosed with measles in the U.S. and this year, 9 cases have been reported by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "[This is] a tragedy we simply can not accept".

The WHO revealed that 15 countries in the European region experienced large outbreaks previous year - that is 100 or more cases.

In those counties, World Health Organization said, there were declines in overall routine immunization coverage, consistently low coverage among some certain groups, interruptions in vaccine supply or underperforming disease surveillance systems. "This short-term setback can not deter us from our commitment to be the generation that frees our children from these diseases once and for all".

Measles is a very contagious viral infection that causes a rash over the entire body.

The surge in measles cases in 2017 included large outbreaks in 15 of the 53 European countries.

Here are the total reported measles cases for Europe in 2017.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a year ago warned worldwide travelers to ensure they are vaccinated against measles.

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Doubts were raised following a 1998 study by Dr Andrew Wakefield.

Dr Mai Mannix, director of public health in the Mid-West stated: "MMR vaccine is the safest way that parents can protect their children against measles as infants, young children and their families are particularly vulnerable".

"However, Andrew Wakefield's work has since been completely discredited and he has been struck off as a doctor in the UK".

The virus is spread by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact or direct contact with infected nasal or throat secretions.

For measles, about 90 to 95 percent of the population needs to vaccinated to virtually eliminate the disease.

People who remain unvaccinated contribute to measles rates not only by exposing themselves but also by exposing others. The WHO is concerned by low rates of immunisation against the disease. In Italy, the outlet reports, vaccination rates had fallen to 85 percent in 2015.

All of these were in the final months of the year.

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