- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of illnesses and deaths due to measles increased last year.
- The organization assumes 136,000 deaths worldwide.
- There hasn’t been enough vaccination against measles for years.
The 136,000 deaths are 43 percent more deaths than in the previous year, according to the WHO in Geneva. There were around nine million cases of illness (plus 18 percent). Last year, 37 countries experienced major outbreaks, compared to 22 the year before.
Measles is a very contagious viral infectious disease. It is transmitted through droplets, for example when infected people cough or sneeze. Infected people usually first have fever, cough, runny nose and inflammation in the nasopharynx, followed by a rash. One in ten people affected have complications, including life-threatening brain inflammation. Measles can be prevented with two doses of the vaccine.
83 percent have been vaccinated once
Around 83 percent of people worldwide have received a first dose of vaccination in their lifetime, and 74 percent have received a second dose. According to the WHO, 95 percent of people would have to be vaccinated in order to prevent major outbreaks. The corona pandemic has interrupted vaccination programs in many countries.
It is alarming that even after the pandemic there is still no comprehensive vaccination there. Countries in Africa are particularly affected, but also India, Indonesia and Brazil. According to the WHO, vaccinations have saved more than 56 million lives since 2000.