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Measles an imminent global threat due to pandemic, CDC and WHO say

by News Desk
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The World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say measles vaccinations have dropped significantly since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with nearly 40 million children missing the vaccine last year, a record high. said there wasn’t.

In a report issued Wednesday, the WHO and CDC said millions of children are susceptible to measles, one of the world’s most contagious diseases. In 2021, about 9 million people worldwide were infected with measles and 128,000 died, according to officials.

The WHO and CDC said the ongoing outbreak in more than 20 countries, coupled with continued declines in immunization due to COVID-19, fragile disease surveillance and delays in response planning, “make measles an imminent threat in all regions of the world.” It means that it is a serious threat.”

Scientists estimate that at least 95% of the population should be vaccinated to protect themselves from contagious diseases. WHO and CDC report that only about 81% of children received their first dose of the measles vaccine and 71% received her second dose, the first dose of measles vaccine since 2008. has the lowest global coverage.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Wallenski said in a statement, “Record numbers of unvaccinated, measles-prone children were hit by immunization systems during the COVID-19 pandemic. Indicates severe damage.

Measles is spread primarily through direct contact and airborne transmission and causes symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, and a rash on the face and upper neck. Most measles-related deaths are caused by complications such as brain swelling and dehydration. Serious complications are most severe in children under the age of 5 and adults over the age of 30, according to WHO.

“At the crossroads”

More than 95% of measles deaths occur in developing countries, mainly in Africa and Asia. There is no specific treatment for measles, but his two-dose vaccine against measles is about 97% effective in preventing serious 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 to try to mitigate this.”

Canadian health officials have also expressed concern about vaccine-preventable diseases. measles, polio, whooping cough Others may see an increase in the country as routine childhood vaccines declined during the coronavirus pandemic.

3D illustration of measles virus. Scientists estimate that at least 95% of the population needs to be vaccinated to protect themselves from the plague. (Shutterstock)

Although measles is no longer considered a permanent epidemic in Canada, seizures can occur If an unvaccinated or unvaccinated individual travels to a country with measles and brings back the disease, public health officials say.

“Canadian citizens should consult a health care professional at least six weeks before travel to ensure they are fully protected against measles,” the federal government said on a regular basis. travel health notice From 2019.

O’Connor said a combination of factors, including prolonged physical distancing measures and the cyclical nature of measles, could explain why cases have yet to explode despite a widening immunity gap. A disease that may have said it could change rapidly.

In July, the United Nations said 25 million children had not received routine immunizations against diseases, including diphtheria. The main reason is that the coronavirus has disrupted routine medical services and caused misinformation about vaccines.

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