The CDC and WHO state that measles is an imminent global threat due to pandemics.
The World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say there has been a significant drop in measles vaccination coverage since the coronavirus pandemic began, resulting in nearly 40 million children missing a dose of the vaccine last year. have been deprived of
In a report released Wednesday, the WHO and CDC said millions of children are now infected with measles, one of the world’s most contagious diseases. In 2021, officials reported nearly 9 million measles infections and 128,000 deaths worldwide.
WHO and the CDC said that in addition to ongoing outbreaks in more than 20 countries, continued declines in vaccinations, poor disease surveillance and delays in response plans due to COVID-19 mean that “measles is spreading everywhere in the world.” There is an imminent danger in the region.”
Scientists estimate that at least 95 percent of the population needs to be vaccinated to protect against pandemics. WHO and CDC reported that only 81 percent of children received the first dose of measles vaccine, while 71 percent received the second dose, the lowest global coverage of the first dose of measles since 2008. The rate is
“The record number of under-immunized and measles-susceptible children shows that the immunization system has been deeply damaged during the COVID-19 pandemic,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walinsky said in a statement. “
Measles is spread mostly by direct contact or through the air and causes symptoms including fever, muscle aches and itchy skin on the face and upper neck. Most measles-related deaths are due to complications including brain swelling and dehydration. WHO says serious complications are most serious in children under five and adults over 30.
‘At a Crossroads’
More than 95 percent of measles deaths occur in developing countries, mostly in Africa and Asia. There is no specific treatment for measles, but the two-dose vaccine is about 97 percent effective in preventing severe illness and death.
“We are at a crossroads,” WHO measles chief Patrick O’Connor told Reuters on Tuesday. “It’s going to be a very difficult 12-24 months trying to get it down.”
Canadian health officials have also raised concerns about how vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, polio, whooping cough and others could increase in the country because of routine childhood vaccines during the coronavirus pandemic. There has been a decline.
Public health officials say that although measles is no longer considered to be persistently circulating in Canada, outbreaks can occur when an unvaccinated or undervaccinated person travels to a country with measles and Brings the disease back with it.
“Canadians should talk to a health care professional at least six weeks before travel to ensure they are fully protected against measles,” reads a routine federal travel health notice from 2019. notes.
A combination of factors such as physical distancing measures and the cyclical nature of measles may explain why there hasn’t been an explosion of cases despite widening the immunity gap, but that could change quickly, O’Connor said. said, indicating the highly contagious nature of the disease.
In July, the United Nations said 25 million children were missing out on routine immunizations against diseases, including diphtheria, largely because the coronavirus disrupted routine health services or misinformation about vaccines. Activated?