Urgent warning to parents of killer health crisis as ‘perfect storm’ brews
A WARNING has been issued about a brewing ‘perfect storm’ – creating the ideal conditions for a deadly eruption.
Measles cases have risen this year, with the World Health Organization calling it a “worrying sign”.
There is an “increased risk for the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases and could trigger larger outbreaks, particularly of measles‘ they warned.
Measles, which is seven times more contagious than omicron, can have serious health consequences for teenagers.
Too many children are vulnerable to measles, with the risk of outbreaks increasing as social distancing is eased around the world.
Nearly 17,338 measles cases were reported worldwide in January and February 2022, compared to 9,665 in the first two months of 2021.
Measles are very contagious As such, cases tend to rise sharply when vaccination levels fall.
It could also serve as a warning sign for other disease outbreaks that are spreading more slowly but could still have an impact.
Measles can be fatal, but even when not fatal, it leaves the patient with a weakened immune system
This would make children more susceptible to other diseases months after the initial infection.
“Measles is more than a dangerous and potentially deadly disease. It is also an early sign that there are gaps in our global immunization coverage, gaps that vulnerable children cannot afford,” said Catherine Russell, Executive Director of UNICEF.
“It is encouraging that people in many communities are beginning to feel sufficiently protected from Covid-19 to return to more social activities.
“But doing this in places where children aren’t routinely vaccinated creates the perfect storm for the spread of a disease like measles.”
MMR vaccines, which also stop mumps and rubella, confer near-perfect immunity, but 95 percent of children need to be vaccinated to stop outbreaks.
Figures from the UK Health Security Agency show just 86 per cent of five-year-olds are on two doses to date.
Many Britons don’t jab their children as around ten million choose not to.
UKHSA warned: “As international travel resumes, measles will be more likely to be imported from countries with higher disease rates.”
The number of cases in the UK is currently low, the last major outbreak being a few years ago, but infections are rising around the world.
Brits were warned earlier this year that one in 10 children starting school could contract the virus as vaccination levels are at a 10-year low.
dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted vaccination services, health systems have been overwhelmed and we are now seeing a resurgence of deadly diseases, including measles.
“For many other diseases, the impact of these disruptions to vaccination services will be felt for decades to come.
“Now is the moment to get the vaccination back on track and launch catch-up campaigns so everyone has access to these life-saving vaccines.”
Countries with the largest measles outbreaks over the past year include Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Ethiopia.
In 2020, 23 million children missed basic childhood vaccinations through routine health services — the highest number since 2009 and 3.7 million more than in 2019.
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https://www.thesun.ie/health/8717032/warning-parents-measles-health-crisis/ Urgent warning to parents of killer health crisis as ‘perfect storm’ brews