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World Health Organization: Increased incidence of measles in Europe and Latin America



There are cases of measles worldwide, especially in Europe and Latin America, due to reluctance of parents to break their children, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

Approximately 173,000 cases of measles worldwide have been recorded in 2017, an increase of more than 30 percent compared to a year earlier, WHO reported in a report released on Thursday. The real number of cases is estimated at 6.7 million last year.

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It is estimated that last year, mostly children, about 110,000 people died, which can be prevented by vaccination.

"What is even more worrying about this increase … is to see that measles appear constantly in countries that have not been infected for several years," said Martin Freida, acting director of FAO's Vaccine, Vaccine and Biology Department.

"This indicates that in some cases we are experiencing a fall."

Very contagious disease may be deadly or lead to hearing loss or mental illness in children. It is often indicative of other diseases such as diphtheria among the non-vaccinated populations.

Germany, the Russian Federation, and Venezuela saw most of the outbreaks of measles last year, leading to a withdrawal of absenteeism because of the disruption.

"We see the increase in data from 2018, and this seems to be more stable, so we are worried because what started as a surge could turn into a trend," Freda said.

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