Global measles deaths increased by 40% last year (WHO)

international health organizations reported a 43% increase in measles-related deaths worldwide in 2022, accompanied by a significant rise in the number of reported cases of the highly contagious disease. The surge is believed to be linked to a decline in vaccination levels during the ongoing pandemic, TuraNews.kz reports citing  Euronews.

According to the report, last year witnessed measles epidemics in 37 countries, marking a substantial increase from the 22 countries that reported outbreaks in 2021.

The impact of measles was particularly severe, affecting 9 million children and resulting in 136,000 fatalities. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) underscored that the rates of both morbidity and mortality were notably higher in economically disadvantaged countries.

While measles has traditionally been associated with developing nations, recent years have seen a rise in incidence even in some developed countries. In July, British health authorities issued a warning about an exceptionally high risk of measles outbreaks in London, revealing that in certain areas of the capital, only 40% of children had received vaccinations.

The decline in vaccination rates in the United Kingdom has persisted since 1998 when discredited British doctor Andrew Wakefield falsely claimed a link between the measles vaccine and autism. Despite the fact that Wakefield’s findings were never substantiated by any medical research, the impact of his discredited claims has lingered, leading millions of parents globally to reject vaccinations for their children. This resistance to vaccination poses a serious challenge to public health efforts to control and prevent the spread of preventable diseases.


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