WHO and UNICEF warn that ‘perfect storm’ could make measles a nightmare in 2022 2022-04-28 10:44:18


A child with measles receives treatment at a hospital on May 4, 2019 in Manila, Philippines.

a A child with measles is treated at A hospital on May 4, 2019 in Manila, Philippines.
picture: Ezra Akkayan (Getty Images)

one time Almost conquering measles Alarming return. This week, the World Health Organization and UNICEF reported that cases of the viral disease so far jumped nearly 80% in 2022 compared to last year. They cautioned that without immediate action, conditions are “mature” this year for a large-scale re-emergence of the vaccine-preventable disease.

According to the data Collected By the organizations, there were about 17,000 measles cases reported in the first two months of 2022 – an increase of 79% over the cases reported during the same period in 2021. The majority of cases came from countries in Africa and the Mediterranean, such as Somalia Yemen and Afghanistan. As of April 2022, they track 21 major outbreaks in the last 12 cases months.

Measles is a highly contagious disease (more recent than Omicron’s MERS). So in unprotected communities, it can spread quickly and cause widespread disease. Given the early start, WHO and UNICEF fear that millions of cases will occur this year. For context, about 860,000 cases were mentioned In 2019 – the highest annual figure since 1996.

Signs from measles infection They include flu-like symptoms along with a characteristic rash that usually begins on the face after several days. Although most people do not develop serious complications, they can be fatal, especially for young children who are malnourished. In 2019, it is estimated that there are more than 200,000 people killing By measles, mostly children under five. Recently, it has become so Clear That even mild cases of measles can effectively reset the immune system, causing us to forget our immunity to other infectious diseases, at least temporarily.

Despite the threat of measles, it is easily preventable thanks to a highly effective vaccine (97% effective with the two full doses) that provides lifelong protection from infection. Vaccination has eroded the global measles incidence rate for decades, and for a while, it looked as though measles are excised. But because the MRSA is so contagious, it requires high vaccine coverage in the population – at least 95% – to provide herd immunity and protect the very young or otherwise unable to be vaccinated. Unfortunately, the world has lost its power to vaccinate everyone recently, resulting in infection with Measles is back In many regions, including the United States, though remains They are eliminated locally here.

The past few years of the pandemic have seen a decrease in the number of reported measles cases But there are also other gaps in vaccination coverage. Adding to the problems was the ongoing war in Afghanistan and more recently Ukraine, which have disrupted routine vaccination programs and led to a mass exodus of refugees. The World Health Organization and UNICEF have warned that these pandemic and war-related disruptions, along with many returning to socialization, will likely allow measles to explode again on the world stage.

It is encouraging that people in many communities are beginning to feel sufficiently protected from COVID-19 to return to more social activities. Katherine Russell, UNICEF said:straight ddirector, in a statment.

In 2020 alone, according to their data, about 23 million children missed their recommended vaccinations, a number higher than in 2019. Unless we catch measles soon, measles threatens to become the kind of nightmare it used to be this year.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought immunization services to a halt, health systems have come under strain and we are now witnessing a resurgence of deadly diseases including measles,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Dr.Director- Zeneral from the World Health Organization. “Now is the time to get basic immunization back on track and launch catch-up campaigns so that everyone has access to these life-saving vaccines.”