Romanian Measles Epidemic Worst in Europe

Posted February 21, 2018

The number of deaths caused by measles in Europe quadrupled to 35 previous year, the World Health Organization's European regional office has reported.

"Over 20,000 cases of measles, and 35 lives lost in 2017 alone, are a tragedy we simply can not accept", said Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe. "Over 20,000 cases of measles, and 35 lives lost in 2017 alone, are a tragedy we simply can not accept", explained Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO regional director for Europe.

Ukraine, with 4,767 measles cases, was among the three countries most affected by the outbreak, along with Romania and Italy, the World Health Organization said.

These countries have witnessed declines in overall immunisation coverage - for some marginalised groups this coverage has been consistently low - interruptions in the supply of vaccines or underperforming disease surveillance systems. Romania had the most, with 5,562, followed by Italy, with 5,006, and Ukraine, with 4,767.

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"Kids up to 6 years old won't be accepted into nursery schools without them", reporter Christopher Livesay told NPR.

"Parents of children in Limerick city and county, Clare and North Tipperary should ensure their child is fully vaccinated for MMR and bring their child for vaccination if they have missed or not already had the correct number of doses for their age".

That was controversial and sparked protest. The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is effective in the prevention of the disease and is administered during childhood, however, the vaccine has also encountered negative publicity as a result of, now discredited, research claiming a link between the vaccine and autism, leading to a number of people in the U.S. and Europe refusing to be vaccinated. Britain reported 282 cases in outbreaks across Yorkshire, the... Like many other countries, some politicians in Italy have argued against the policy by referencing widely discredited research that suggests a link between vaccines and autism.

Ireland's level of confirmed cases is low compared to countries like Greece (967), Germany (927), France (520), Belgium (369), the United Kingdom (282), and Spain (152).

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The number of cases has been rising since the beginning of January. As NPR's Jason Beaubien reports, Rohingya camps in Bangladesh have also seen recent outbreaks.

An outbreak hit Minnesota in 2017, sickening at least 79 people.

Patients with measles have symptoms such as fever, cough and runny nose at the onset, according to the CDC.

The measles rash is made up of red or brown blotches.

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