Sunday April 21, 2019

WHO Warns A Rise In The Number Of Measles Cases

They also warn the spread of falsehoods and misinformation.

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A health worker vaccinates a toddler against measles in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. VOA

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns a spike in the number of measles cases globally is putting hard won progress toward the elimination of this highly contagious, deadly disease at risk.

Measles immunizations have saved more than 21 million lives globally since 2000. But, unveiling a new report, the World Health Organization says multiple outbreaks of this killer disease since 2016 have caused an estimated 110,000 deaths in all regions of the globe.

In addition, WHO’s director of immunization, vaccines and biologicals, Martin Friede, says there has been a very worrying jump of more than 30 percent in reported measles cases worldwide.

Measles, WHO
Two sick children wait for treatment after being admitTed to a hospital in Agats, Asmat District, after the government dispatched military and medical personnel to the remote region of Papua to combat malnutrition and measles, Indonesia. VOA

“We are seeing sustained measles transmission in countries that had previously not seen measles transmission for many years. So, the countries had eliminated measles, but it has now been re-established in the country. This is very worrying. This suggests that we are actually regressing in certain cases,” Friede said.

The report finds the Americas, the eastern Mediterranean region, and Europe have experienced the greatest surges in cases, with the western Pacific the only region where the number of cases has fallen.

But, it notes the biggest increases continue to be in areas with low immunization coverage where measles is endemic. For instance, the report finds a two-fold rise in cases of the disease in Africa.

Measles, WHO
A vial of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and an information sheet is seen at Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, Feb.26, 2015. VOA

Health officials attribute the growth of measles cases to a sense of complacency, especially in industrialized countries where the disease has not been seen for many years.

Also Read: Europe Suffers From A Severe Measles Outbreak

They also warn the spread of falsehoods and misinformation, such as the debunked link between measles vaccinations and autism, discourages many parents from immunizing their children against the disease. (VOA)

Next Story

Measles Spread in Google’s Headquarters, Employees Discussing Ways To Protect Themselves

A select group of employees learned about the incident more than a week later, on April 13, when a company doctor emailed them about the infected the employee, the report said. 

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Later, however, the staff doctor sent a message to multiple internal groups at Google, reassuring a that they were safe while acknowledging that his communication had been "slow". Pixabay

Executives at Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters are discussing ways to protect themselves and their families from measles after one of them was found working at the office despite being infected by the highly contagious virus.

On Google’s internal forums, employees expressed shock because they were not told sooner about their sick colleague who had been spending time in its Mountain View office building — including a campus restaurant, BuzzFeed News reported on Thursday.

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Public health experts blame the uptick partially on the spread of anti-vaccine falsehoods on social media platforms, including Google’s YouTube, which, under public pressure, recently removed ads from known anti-vaccine video channels, the report said. Pixabay

The employee was present in the office on April 4.

A select group of employees learned about the incident more than a week later, on April 13, when a company doctor emailed them about the infected the employee, the report said.

Later, however, the staff doctor sent a message to multiple internal groups at Google, reassuring a that they were safe while acknowledging that his communication had been “slow”.

The reported case is part of a historic resurgence of measles in the US.

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On Google’s internal forums, employees expressed shock because they were not told sooner about their sick colleague who had been spending time in its Mountain View office building — including a campus restaurant, BuzzFeed News reported on Thursday. Pixabay

Also Read: Apple’s Recycling Robot Is Capable of Disassembling 200 iPhones Per Hour
At least 555 people have been infected this year by the virus, which was declared eliminated in 2000, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Public health experts blame the uptick partially on the spread of anti-vaccine falsehoods on social media platforms, including Google’s YouTube, which, under public pressure, recently removed ads from known anti-vaccine video channels, the report said.  (IANS)