Measles cases QUADRUPLE in Europe after vaccinations are SHUNNED, health experts warn

Measles cases QUADRUPLE in Europe after vaccinations are SHUNNED, health experts warn

Measles cases QUADRUPLE in Europe after vaccinations are SHUNNED, health experts warn

It said there was a four-fold increase in cases as the disease affected 21,315 people and caused 35 deaths in 2017. A law to that effect is now awaiting parliamentary approval.

The figures indicate that a lower rate of vaccination could be behind the increase.

This compares to an incidence rate of 8.4 per million of population in 2016 when 43 cases of measles were recorded.

On Tuesday, the World Health Organisation (Who) said cases of the disease in Europe increased by 400 per cent a year ago. "Over 20,000 cases of measles, and 35 lives lost in 2017 alone, are a tragedy we simply can not accept", commented Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO regional director for Europe.

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Neighbouring Italy has witnessed a big outbreak of measles, prompting the government past year to introduce a law that made it incumbent on kindergarten schools and child care centres to accept only children who are vaccinated.

"This short-term setback can not deter us from our commitment to be the generation that frees our children from these diseases once and for all".

Today, health ministers from 11 countries will meet to discuss progress with the European Vaccine Action Plan, which includes the aspired elimination of measles and rubella. The highest numbers of affected people were reported in Romania (5562), Italy (5006) and Ukraine (4767).

The large-scale outbreaks occurred in countries where vaccine uptake was low or vaccine supplies were interrupted, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Other countries with large outbreaks included Italy (5,006), Germany (927), France (520) and the United Kingdom (282).

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As of the end of 2016, 42 of the 53 countries reported no endemic measles transmission.

Actions to stop current outbreaks and prevent new ones from taking place include raising public awareness, addressing challenges in access, and improving supply planning and logistics, the World Health Organization added. (These figures are for people who have received two doses of the vaccine.) Parents have been refusing the vaccine-which hasn't been reliably available anyway, Reuters reported in July.

Dr Mai Mannix, director of public health in the Mid-West stated: "MMR vaccine is the safest way that parents can protect their children against measles as infants, young children and their families are particularly vulnerable".

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