Measles virus outbreak worldwide
The global incidence of measles skyrocketed in 2019, a joint report from the WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on November 12. Last year, 869,770 people were infected with measles, the highest rate since 1996, but measles deaths have doubled since 2016, although many consider it a harmless childhood illness. Approximately 207,500 people died from it last year. Experts attribute the disappointing situation to the fact that many children do not receive the necessary double vaccination of MCV1 and MCV2 vaccines, which provide protection against measles, on time. To reliably stop the spread of the virus, 95% of the population must be vaccinated. The global average vaccination rate for MCV1 is 85%, MCV2 - 71%. "Science has long known how to prevent measles outbreaks. We need to work together to get vaccinated for everyone," - commented the released data, WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus.
In 2020, measures to combat Covid-19, for all their importance, slowed down vaccination against other diseases. In 26 states, routine measles vaccinations for 94 million people were postponed due to quarantine, and only eight of them resumed (Brazil, Nepal, Philippines, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Somalia).
"Covid-19, dangerous in itself, is also causing an increase in the incidence and death of measles, which also knows no boundaries," said Gail McGovern, president of the American Red Cross.
“The fight against one deadly disease should not be at the expense of another. It is imperative to continue immunization against all infections for which there are vaccines,” says Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund Henriett Fore. “Although health care worldwide is consumed by Covid-19, it must not be weakened Measles is 100% preventable, no one should die from it, "said Seth Berkeley, head of the international organization Gavi, which vaccinates people in poor countries. Measles virus is extremely infectious, warns American epidemiologist Robert Linkins. On November 6, WHO and UNICEF called on governments to take urgent action against the spread of measles and poliomyelitis. "The fight against Covid-19 is critical. But there are other deadly diseases that threaten millions of people in the poorest countries," the document says. UN specialized agencies are particularly concerned about the situation in Nigeria, the largest African a country with a population of 200 million Vaccine rates Ri from measles is only 54% there. In two southern states, Delta and Enugu, over 70 people have died in recent days from an outbreak of yellow fever. In neighboring Benu state, 12 people have died from an unidentified infection. Covid-19 in Nigeria, according to probably incomplete data, fell ill 64 366 people and 1,160 of them died. when we have a safe, economical and proven vaccine. No child should die from a vaccine preventable disease, "says United Nations Foundation President Elizabeth Cousins.
"Anti-vaccines" Difficulties with vaccination against measles and some other diseases also exist in developed countries. Only not because of poverty, but because of myths, prejudices and fakes. The anti-vaccine movement has existed as long as the vaccines themselves. Pastor Edmund Massy became famous in Britain for his sermons back in 1772, who called smallpox vaccinations a devilish thing. In recent years, it has been dramatically intensified thanks to the British physician Andrew Wakefield, who, in an article published in 1998, claimed that the combined and rubella causes autism in children. Although the articles were later refuted and Wakefield himself was stripped of his medical license for scientific misconduct, the seeds he sowed sprouted. The percentage of children vaccinated against measles in the United Kingdom fell from 92% in 1996 to 84% in 2002, and in some areas of London up to 60%. As a result, six years later, it was officially recognized that measles had returned to Britain, and deaths reappeared, as happened in other countries that were thought to have long been cured of measles, and where Wakefield's theory spread. In Ireland in 2000, 1,500 people fell ill, three of them died; in France, in 2008-2011, more than 22,000 people fell ill; in December 2014, 125 people contracted measles in California Disneyland, after which the state of California passed a law on compulsory vaccination of children. In Russia, an outbreak of measles happened in 2018.
In Russia, an outbreak of measles happened in 2018. The number of cases has jumped 3.5 times. Experts explained this by the increased resistance of the population to vaccination. According to the Moscow Department of Health, among children who are not vaccinated against measles in the city, in almost 80% of cases, the reason was the principle of parental refusal. According to polls, 22-27% of citizens regularly oppose vaccinations in Russia.