Number of measles cases triples

measlesVaccinated against measles.Photo: Lise Åserud / SCANPIX .

According to new figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), there were three times as many infected with measles during the first three months of 2019 compared to the first three months of 2018.

‘’Although these are preliminary and incomplete figures, this shows a clear trend. Many countries are in the midst of major measles outbreaks, and in all regions of the world there is an increase in the number of measles cases” a statement by the organization said.

According to WHO, the number of actual cases of illness will always be higher than the figures reported. This means that it is reasonable to assume that the first figures for 2019 are too low.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that causes a rash with fever and can lead to a severe outcome. The virus is transmitted through droplet infection and can potentially be fatal to malnourished children or children who have impaired health, or infants who are too young to be vaccinated.

If one is infected, there is no specific treatment.

Preventing measles infection requires that 95% of the population are vaccinated, creating so-called ‘flock immunity’, in order to protect the small proportion who cannot take the vaccine on a medical basis.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today