The measles outbreak that has been affecting both Europe, the United States, and the world, in general, claimed a new life on the Old Continent. WHO or the World Health Organization announced recently that a 6 years old boy died in Italy because of this. This made him the latest fatality in a string of deaths that already reached 35 over a period of 12 months.
WHO points out the existence of the measles vaccine, which has reportedly already prevented millions of infections over these last few decades. However, this is optional, and parents can choose not to immunize their children. Some of the concerns raised regarding this immunization point out to the possibility of side effects. These could allegedly lead to other health problems.
Measles Outbreak, Reported in More than Just Europe
The WHO reports that, over the last 12 months, there have been thousands of measles infections reported across the European continent. Among them, 35 cases resulted in the death of the patient. One of the hardest-hit countries was Romania, which reported the highest number of fatalities. This is followed by Italy, which reported the latest casualty, Germany, and Portugal.
“We are very concerned that although a safe, effective and affordable vaccine is available, measles remains a leading cause of death among children worldwide, and unfortunately Europe is not spared,” stated Zsuzsanna Jakab.
She is the WHO Regional Director for Europe. Jakab continued by stating that the organization is working closely with health authorities from all the affected European countries.
It is doing so as officials are trying to control the outbreak and maintain a “high vaccination coverage” for all the population. WHO points out that each individual country is working hard on getting more people vaccinated against measles. Romania, for example, started a nation-wide immunization campaign.
Europe is not the only continent hit by a measles outbreak. WHO reported earlier this year the presence of dozens of infections in the Americas as well. This release targeted the 2016 and early 2017 period.
For the current calendar year, reports indicate 43 measles cases in the United States. Another 39 were registered in Canada, and 2 in Argentina. All of them were reportedly either “imported cases”, coming from other regions of the world, or of origins unknown.
Measles outbreaks have also been reported in countries such as China, Indonesia, Thailand, Nigeria, and Sri Lanka, among others.
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