Ukraine Suffers World's Biggest Rise In Measles Cases in 2018


The Health Department found the initial case in the outbreak came from a child who caught measles while visiting Israel.

In very rare cases, a fatal neurological disease called subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) can develop 7 to 10 years after a person gets measles-even if they recovered fully from the illness.

"This is a wake-up call", UNICEF's Fore said.

Ninety-eight countries reported more cases of measles in 2018 compared with 2017, and the world body warned that conflict, complacency and the growing anti-vaccine movement threatened to undo decades of work to tame the disease. Encephalitis-a risky condition that involves swelling around the brain-happens in about 1 in every 1,000 measles cases.

And in Vancouver, the local health authority reported two new cases of measles on Wednesday, bringing the total number of infected patients to 15.

Since the beginning of this year, 159 cases of measles in 10 states have been confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Measles is a serious viral infection that is easily spread through the air by little droplets in connection with a simple cough or sneeze.

"Pretty much everybody born before 1956 was exposed to the measles virus and therefore they have immunity".

"Approximately 90% of children under 13 years old are fully immunised with two doses of MMR vaccine".

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However, once a person is infected, there is no specific treatment for measles, meaning vaccination is literally a life-saving tool. Measles has sickened almost 160 people from Washington and OR to Texas and NY.

The CDC says global travelers who can not show that they were vaccinated or are otherwise protected against mumps, should get vaccinated before leaving the USA.

UNICEF says poor public health infrastructure, civil strife, low community awareness, and vaccine hesitancy have all played a role in measles outbreaks in both developed and developing countries.

UNICEF said statistics by the World Health Organization showed there were 35,120 cases of measles in Ukraine a year ago - a massive rise from about 5,000 in 2017.

The largest increase in the number of patients in 2018 is in Ukraine, the Philippines and Brazil. Measles is preventable with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. The protestors argue, citing suspect science and anecdotal stories, that vaccines carry health risks to those who get them.

UNICEF says in order to fight measles it is issuing an urgent appeal to governments, health care providers, and parents to take action to contain the disease.

United States public health experts sounded the alarm Wednesday over a resurgence of measles in recent years, principally in communities where people reject vaccinations and obtain exemptions for religious or "personal" reasons.

Its return is "really unacceptable", said Antony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, during a congressional hearing.

As the Texas Observer reports, Zedler continued his anti-vaccination push by voicing his support for a new bill that would make it even easier for parents to opt out of mandatory vaccinations of their children.