Now, Measles “An Imminent Global Threat” Due to COVID Pandemic: WHO

Now, Measles “An Imminent Global Threat” Due to COVID Pandemic: WHO

A record high of nearly 40 million children to miss a dose of the measles vaccine in 2021. (Representative))

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Public Health Agency said on Wednesday that there is an imminent threat of measles outbreaks in different regions globally due to a continuing decline in vaccination coverage and weak disease surveillance due to COVID-19.

Measles is one of the most contagious human viruses and is almost completely preventable through vaccination. However, 95 percent vaccine coverage is needed to prevent outbreaks among the population.

Due to the constraints created by the COVID pandemic, WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a joint report that nearly 40 million children could die in 2021. Record high of missed measles vaccine doses.

While measles cases have not increased dramatically compared to previous years, now is the time to act, WHO measles chief Patrick O’Connor told Reuters.

“We are at a crossroads,” he said Tuesday. “The 12-24 months trying to get it down is going to be very challenging.”

A combination of factors such as social distancing measures and the cyclical nature of measles may explain why there hasn’t been an explosion of cases yet, despite the wide immunity gap, but that could change quickly, O’Connor said of the highly contagious nature. He said while pointing. Disease.

The WHO has already seen an increase in large disruptive outbreaks since the beginning of 2022, rising from 19 to about 30 by September, O’Connor said, noting that parts of sub-Saharan Africa were particularly concerned.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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