The United Nations (UN) has made a recent announcement about the outbreak of measles in continental Europe.
It is unexpected. Hundreds of measles cases have been reported in continental Europe where the disease was thought to have been eliminated in full by the United Nations health agency devoted to it.
This elimination was thought to be due to vaccinations for children on the part of families and national authorities. In addition, there were more drastic measures to have transmission stopped at the borders. There were hundreds of cases with most in “France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, and Ukraine,” recently.
The largest outbreaks have been found in Romania. There have been over 3,400 cases since January, so three months at 3,400 cases comes to about 1,130 to 1,140 cases per month – January, February, and March – since the start of 2017.
In addition, there are expected to be 850 cases in Italy in the coming weeks there. The national immunization estimates are assumed to be very good in continental Europe. It is important to bear in mind that “measles is a highly contagious virus that remains endemic in most parts of the world.”
Zsuzsanna Jakab, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Europe, said, “Outbreaks will continue in Europe, as elsewhere, until every country reaches the level of immunization needed to fully protect their populations.”
The “estimated national immunization coverage with the second dose of measles-containing vaccine is believed to be less than the 95 per cent threshold,” the Jakab said.
With the lower than desired immunization rates, the potential for the spread of measles is high.
“I urge all endemic countries to take urgent measures to stop transmission of measles within their borders,” Jakab said, “and all countries that have already achieved this to keep up their guard and sustain high immunization coverage. Together we must make sure that the hard-earned progress made towards regional elimination is not lost.”