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Infectious disease warning records high cases worldwide


Infectious disease warning

records high cases worldwide

A series of measles warnings have been issued across Australia in recent weeks

and the US and UK have also faced wider measles outbreaks.

In fact, WHO reported a 45-fold increase in measles cases in Europe last year

with 42,200 cases recorded in 2023 compared to 941 in 2022.

In South Asia

India and Pakistan recently reported outbreaks.

What is measles?

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that spreads through spray

 when an infected person coughs or sneezes. They are so contagious that

if an infected person contacts 10 unvaccinated people, the infection

can be transmitted to nine of them.

Symptoms can take about 10 to 12 days after a person's exposure to the virus.

Although measles is characterized by a rash

symptoms are usually similar to colds at first, including fever

runny nose, fatigue, pain or red eyes. Rashes appear two 

or three days later and spread from the face to the lower body.

Sometimes measles can lead to secondary infections such as ear infection

diarrhoea or pneumonia. In rare cases can cause encephalitis.

In severe cases

measles can lead to hospitalization and death.

Vaccination is a highly effective strategy for measles protection.

 Two doses of the MMR vaccine provide protection against measles

mumps and rubella.

Once vaccinated, the chance of measles is very low 

and a person is considered protected for life.

However, about one in 100 vaccinated people may be infected with measles

if exposed to the virus. Although it is not entirely clear why this happened

 the infection in the vaccinated person is generally mild.

Globally :

there has been a decrease in children's vaccinations over the course of 

the COVID pandemic. This is likely due to a range of factors

including declining confidence in vaccines and misinformation

and disrupting access to them.

In Europe

the proportion of children who received a first dose of

 the MMR vaccine fell from 96% in 2019 to 93% in 2022

and from 93% to 91% for the second dose.

This is important because almost 95% vaccination coverage

is needed to achieve herd immunity to measles.

In the United Kingdom, health authorities have expressed concern 

about the number of children who have not been vaccinated.

As of September 2023, the Australian Government has reported

 immunization rates in all children's vaccinations of 93.26%

for children aged 1, 91.22% for children aged 2 and 94.04% for children aged 5.

It is never too late to get vaccinated against measles if you miss it as a child

or you are not sure if you have taken two doses, according to experts. 

If you are not sure of your vaccination status, you can ask your GP 

or check your vaccination record.