Global Measles Cases See 88pc Jump In 2023 From 2022: WHO - Eastern Mirror
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Global measles cases see 88pc jump in 2023 from 2022: WHO

By IANS Updated: Apr 28, 2024 2:28 pm
Global measles cases see 88pc jump in 2023 from 2022: WHO
Global measles cases see 88pc jump in 2023 from 2022: WHO (IANS)

NEW DELHI The number of measles cases worldwide has witnessed a significant increase of 88 per cent in 2023 from 2022, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Sunday.

From 171,153 measles cases in 2022, it nearly doubled to 3,21,582 in 2023, said Patrick O’Connor of the WHO, who presented the research at the ongoing ESCMID Global Congress in Barcelona.

The report blamed the lack of vaccinations during the Covid-19 pandemic behind the significant increases in measles worldwide.

“Over the last decade there has been significant progress towards measles and rubella elimination — the Regional Verification Commissions for Measles and Rubella Elimination (RVCs) from all of the WHO Regions will review all national measles and rubella 2023 reports in 2024,” O’Connor said.

“The measles virus is extremely infectious and any gaps in immunisation coverage are potential risks for the outbreak. So, coverage needs to be high but also uniform and equitable,” he added.

2024 is likely to see a further increase in measles cases as some 94,481 cases have been reported up to early April. While 45 per cent of these cases have been in the WHO European Region, Yemen, Azerbaijan, and Kyrgyzstan are the countries with the highest reported measles incidence in the world, the report said.

“Worryingly, the number of countries suffering large or disruptive measles outbreaks (defined as 20 cases/million population continuously over a 12-month period) has tripled from 17 to 51,” the report said.

Meanwhile, the report showed that vaccination against measles averted an estimated 57 million deaths globally from 2000 to 2022. Of these, 1.5 million are in the European region where there has been a 98 per cent reduction in annual measles deaths from 3,584 in 2000 to 70 in 2022.

“Over the last 20 years, there has been significant progress toward achieving measles and rubella elimination — in order to solidify and maintain those gains, we need to ensure high, uniform and equitable routine immunisation coverage; and robust outreach and rapid outbreak response,” O’Connor said.

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By IANS Updated: Apr 28, 2024 2:28:44 pm
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