Measles Epidemic In Europe Can Be Stopped Only By Vaccination

Table of contents:

Measles Epidemic In Europe Can Be Stopped Only By Vaccination
Measles Epidemic In Europe Can Be Stopped Only By Vaccination
Video: Measles Epidemic In Europe Can Be Stopped Only By Vaccination
Video: The Measles Outbreak: Why Vaccines Matter 2023, February
Anonim

Measles epidemic in Europe can be stopped only by vaccination

A sharp spike in measles in Europe is putting lives at risk: according to official WHO data, the number of cases in the first half of 2019 exceeded the incidence for the entire last year. The only protection against disease is vaccination.

Measles epidemic in Europe can be stopped only by vaccination
Measles epidemic in Europe can be stopped only by vaccination

Photo: pixnio.com /

Measles cases are on the rise in Europe. In the first six months of 2019, nearly 90,000 measles cases were detected in 48 of the 53 countries in the European Region - more than in the entire 2018 (84,462 cases). Also, 37 deaths were recorded. In this regard, WHO has declared a second category emergency and intensified efforts to combat the disease.

Albania, the Czech Republic, Greece and the United Kingdom lost their measles-free status in early August. This indicates a loss of control over measles immunization.

“If high immunization coverage is not achieved and maintained in every community, then unnecessary suffering for both children and adults will inevitably continue. Tragic deaths cannot be avoided,”said Günter Pfaff, chair of the European Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination, which prepared the report.

Outbreaks of measles are also recorded in different regions of Russia. According to Rospotrebnadzor, in 2018, 2,538 cases were registered, in January-April 2019 - 872 cases, with half of the cases living in Moscow and the Moscow region. Currently, the epidemic situation is under control, and in most cases the disease was imported from countries with measles problems. The largest proportion of cases is among the unvaccinated for religious reasons and the Roma who lead a nomadic lifestyle.

Measles is one of the most contagious diseases in the world, potentially fatal but completely preventable. The only protection is provided by timely vaccination with two doses of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella). In Russia, the first injection is given to children at the age of 12 months, and revaccination is given at the age of 6.

Since some children (for example, cancer patients or those with problems with the immune system) cannot be vaccinated, to protect them and develop the so-called herd immunity, 95% of the population must be immunized with both doses of MMR.

“We talk a lot about the unvaccinated and people opposed to vaccinations and the risks to them and their children, but in fact the greatest risks are for those who cannot be vaccinated. They are totally dependent on society,”explained Professor Andrew Pollard of the University of Oxford.

According to a WHO report, coverage with complete immunization in the European Region is 91%. A 2017 study found that a drop in coverage by as little as 5% could lead to a threefold increase in measles cases.

Experts associate inadequate vaccination rates with anti-vaccination movement. Although the misinformation about the CCP provided by vaccine opponents has been fully exposed, they continue to actively promote on social media and other online platforms. Several platforms have already taken action. In particular, Pinterest announced on August 28 that it will tighten its rules to combat vaccine myths.

“Social media is likely to become the main source of information for future generations of parents. We see this as a critical issue that requires our collective efforts to address,”said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

He noted that vaccination saves at least 2 million lives a year. Therefore, governments must respond to parenting concerns and needs, and build trusted health systems.

Doctors emphasize that it is never too late to get vaccinated against measles. They urge that this be done, especially if visits to measles-prone countries are planned.

Popular by topic