Measles cases soared nearly 80% worldwide earlier this year

So far, some 17,338 measles cases have been reported globally in January and February 2022, compared to 9,665 in the first two months of 2021.

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A staggering increase. Reported cases of measles have exploded by nearly 80% worldwide in the first two months of the year, the World Health Organization and Unicef ‚Äč‚Äčannounced on Wednesday (April 27).

The WHO has not ceased in recent months to sound the alarm on the risk of “absolute disaster” if the dangerous delay in the vaccination of children due to the Covid-19 pandemic is not caught up and if health restrictions are lifted too quickly.

The result is dizzying: the number of cases jumped 79% in the first two months of 2022, compared to the same period last year, according to WHO and Unicef. The two UN agencies now fear the appearance of serious epidemics of measles, a highly contagious viral disease, which could affect “millions of children” in 2022.

So far, some 17,338 measles cases have been reported globally in January and February 2022, compared to 9,665 in the first two months of 2021. But the numbers are likely higher as the pandemic has disrupted health systems. surveillance.

There have been 21 significant measles outbreaks in the past 12 months (to April), mostly in Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean region. The countries that have seen the biggest measles outbreaks since last year are Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Ethiopia.

The best protection against measles, which takes its name from the characteristic red patches all over the body, is very high vaccination coverage. Because measles is highly contagious, cases tend to appear when vaccination levels drop. The two UN agencies fear that outbreaks of measles are a harbinger of outbreaks of other diseases that spread more slowly.

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