Measles Infections soaring in Europe
The World Health Organization reports more than 41,000 children and adults have been infected with measles in the European region, and 37 people died. The total number of infected is significantly higher than the aggregated figures for 12 months of previous years. For example, in the period from 2010 to 2017, the highest total annual number was 23 927 cases, and the lowest 5,273 cases, the WHO points. “We call upon all countries to immediately begin implementing large-scale measures considering the specifics of the local situation to put an end to the further spread of the disease. The good health of all people begins with immunisation,” says Zsuzsanna Jakab, a director of the WHO European Bureau.
Moreover, the WHO emphasises that the virus be highly contagious and spreads quickly among people who are susceptible to infection. Therefore, it is necessary to provide at least 95% annual coverage of two doses of measles vaccine at the level of any community, and also to make efforts to cover the vaccinations of children. Thus, Italy has already introduced a new law requiring parents to vaccinate their children against measles. Romania also adopted a similar bill, including high fines for parents who did not treat their children. On Monday, the U.N. called for better monitoring of the disease and increasing immunization rates to prevent the spread of measles endemic.
It should be noted that measles usually begins with a high fever, and also causes a rash on the face and neck. Most people who recover it, measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children.
Aizhana Danabekova holds a BA in International Relations and is currently studying for an MSocSc in Cultural Sociology at University College Dublin. She started her career in journalism in Almaty, Kazakhstan at Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper. She wrote articles about different cultures and led the title “Let’s learn Kazakh”.