The Covid effect has raised a threat of a new rise in measles worldwide, WHO warns

There is an imminent threat of measles spreading worldwide as Covid-19 has led to a steady decline in vaccination coverage and weakened surveillance of the disease, experts say.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the US health agency issued the warning in a joint report released yesterday.

Measles is one of the most contagious human viruses and can be almost completely prevented by vaccination. However, it requires 95 percent vaccination coverage to prevent community outbreaks.

A record high of nearly 40 million children missed a measles vaccine dose in 2021 due to hurdles created by the Covid pandemic, the WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

Although measles cases have not yet increased dramatically compared to previous years, now is the time to act, according to WHO measles chief Patrick O’Connor.

“We are at a crossroads,” he said yesterday. “It’s going to be a very challenging 12 to 24 months to try to mitigate this.”

A combination of factors such as ongoing social distancing measures and the cyclical nature of measles may explain why there has not yet been an explosion of cases despite widening immunity gaps.

But that could change quickly, Mr O’Connor said, noting the highly contagious nature of the disease.

The WHO has already seen an increase in large disruptive outbreaks since early 2022, going from 19 to nearly 30 by September, Mr O’Connor said, adding he was particularly concerned about parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

https://www.independent.ie/world-news/covid-effect-has-led-to-a-threat-of-new-surge-in-measles-globally-who-warns-42168744.html The Covid effect has raised a threat of a new rise in measles worldwide, WHO warns

Fry Electronics Team

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