What’s in news?
New measles surveillance, a preliminary data is based on country reports submitted to WHO is now available on the WHO website.
- These are not official numbers as countries are still reporting cases to WHO.
- Measles cases have continued to climb into 2019. Preliminary global data shows that reported cases rose by 300% in the first three months of 2019, compared to the same period in 2018.
- This follows consecutive increases over the past two years.
- While this data is provisional and not yet complete, it indicates a clear trend. Many countries are in the midst of sizeable measles outbreaks, with all regions of the world experiencing sustained rises in cases.
- Current outbreaks include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Myanmar, Philippines, Sudan, Thailand and Ukraine, causing many deaths mostly among young children.
- Measles is one of the world’s most contagious diseases, with the potential to be extremely severe. In 2017, the most recent year for which estimates are available, it caused close to 110 000 deaths.
- Even in high-income countries, complications result in hospitalization in up to a quarter of cases, and can lead to lifelong disability, from brain damage and blindness to hearing loss.
- The disease is almost entirely preventable through two doses of a safe and effective vaccine. For several years, however, global coverage with the first dose of measles vaccine has stalled at 85%. This is still short of the 95% needed to prevent outbreaks, and leaves many people, in many communities, at risk. Second dose coverage, while increasing, stands at 67%.
- Doctors created the measles new vaccine called the “Edmonston strain”.
- Measles is also known as Rubella or Red Measles. It is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by a virus which causes a rash all over the body.
- Measles could be spread through infected mucus and saliva. Measles is the primary disease that leads to the death of children. As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), 13, 9300 deaths are recognized in 2010 as a result of measles.
- Out of 13, 9300 global deaths, a majority of them were children of age below 5 years. Measles generally affects children who are not vaccinated.
Causes and transmission:
It is a contagious disease that spreads through mucus and saliva. When the measles infected person sneezes or coughs, the virus is released into the air. Measles virus could travel through the air. So anyone in that proximity might be infected by that virus.
- Fever, Hacking cough, Red eyes, Muscle pains, Running nose, Sore throat, Sores inside the mouth.
- If Measles not treated properly can lead to chronic complications like pneumonia, encephalitis, Bronchitis, Reduction in blood platelets, severe diarrhoea, Sometimes even blindness.
- Michigan health officials confirmed the measles outbreak in Oakland County is linked to the on-going outbreak in New York. State health officials have reported 39 cases from this outbreak.
- In Rockland County, New York Anyone who is unvaccinated, has a laboratory-confirmed case of measles, has been identified by a health investigation as being exposed to measles and is under age 18 will be issued an order to essentially stay at home for up to 21 days.
- A number of cases of measles have been identified in the Lower Mainland, Vancouver bringing the province’s total number of cases to 27.