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WHO: More than half of countries will be at high risk of measles outbreaks this year

WHO: More than half of countries will be at high risk of measles outbreaks this year

WHO: More than half of countries will be at high risk of measles outbreaks this year

The general increase in cases of measles Globally, more than half of all countries in the world will be at “high or maximum” risk of outbreaks of this disease by the end of 2024, warned this Tuesday the World Health Organization (WHO).

The latest global data on cases reported to the WHO (as of February 2024) indicate that there were 306,291 in 2023, compared to 171,156 cases in 2022, which represented a 79% increase.

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The number of countries with high-risk outbreaks, that is, with an incidence of more than 20 cases per million inhabitants, increased from 32 in 2022 to 51 last year, said the measles and rubella expert at the WHO, Natasha Crowcroft.

Since in many cases, infections and deaths are not reported or associated with this disease, the health organization estimates that, in reality, there have been 9.2 million infections and about 136,216 deaths in 2022which represents an increase in deaths of 43% compared to 2021.

Furthermore, the expert warned of a “great inequality” in the distribution of these cases and deaths, as almost half (48%) of the nations that will enter the high or maximum risk level this year are expected to be low- or middle-income countries.

To address this situation, the specialist called for urgent measures to be taken to ensure that all children are protected, as, she assured, measles and rubella prevention there is”fallen”of the government’s priorities because of world crises such as Covid-19 or recent armed conflicts.

Furthermore, he insisted that low-income countries must prioritize measles prevention in their plans to complete the vaccination of children who have already received the first dose of immunization and in whom measles may reappear quickly if not taken.devastating in vulnerable communities”.

Source: Elcomercio

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