HealthDay News — Vaccine refusals have contributed to a “dramatic resurgence” of measles in Europe, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.
In the first half of this year, there were nearly 90,000 measles cases in Europe, nearly double the number reported for the same period in 2018, according to a WHO report released Thursday. Most of the measles cases occurred in Ukraine in the first half of 2019 (84,000), followed by Kazakhstan and Georgia, the Associated Press reported. Four European countries — Albania, the Czech Republic, Greece, and the United Kingdom — have lost their status as having eliminated measles, an expert WHO committee said.
“If high immunization coverage is not achieved and sustained in every community, both children and adults will suffer unnecessarily and some will tragically die,” said Guenter Pfaff, MD, chair of a WHO expert committee on measles in Europe, the AP reported.
A number of European countries have implemented stronger vaccination policies, but areas of vaccine refusal have led to epidemics across the continent, the AP reported.