Published: Fri, August 30, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

‘Dramatic resurgence’ of measles seen in Europe, WHO reports

‘Dramatic resurgence’ of measles seen in Europe, WHO reports

Trust in vaccines is highest in poor countries but weaker in wealthier ones, according to a global study conducted by Gallup and funded by global health charity The Wellcome Trust that was released in June.

"Misinformation about vaccines is as contagious and unsafe as diseases that help spread measles", WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement this week.

The Czech health authorities registered 579 cases of measles in the first seven months of this year, compared to 203 in the previous year. "This is the alarm bell that is ringing around the world: being able to achieve high national coverage is not enough, it has to be achieved in every community, and every family for every child".

It was based on an assessment of annual status updates for 2018 submitted by the 53 Member States of the European Region, WHO said at a press conference here. The formation of attitudes about vaccination is complex and linked to many factors including media and peer group influence, distrust of science, information access and socio-economic barriers. Social media platforms have been increasingly under fire for promoting misleading and incorrect content, including by opponents of vaccination. "We're delighted that Laura has played a part in helping to protect so many more young people from HPV cancers", he said.

The World Health Organisation blames disinformation about vaccines on social media for the rise in cases. As a result, a number of developed countries have implemented measures to increase vaccination rates; France, Germany, Italy, the U.S. and parts of Australia have made vaccinations mandatory for attending school whilst Germany has also tabled draft legislation that would impose a fine of EUR2,500 (USD2,772) on parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. "Any parents who have reconsidered their decision and are seeking the vaccine for their daughters can use the HSE catch-up service", Minister Harris said.

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For the primary time since information started in 2012, 4 nations - Albania, Czech Republic, Greece and the United Kingdom - misplaced their standing as having eradicated measles from the inhabitants. It provides vital information and sends out a clear message that this vaccine can prevent cervical cancer and save lives.

Heidi Larson, director of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, told CNN that health authorities should be in emergency mode due to the seriousness of the situation.

Around 90 thousand cases have already been confirmed across this year across Europe. Consistently, data show that physicians are the most trusted source of information for parents of preteens who are eligible for vaccination.

"We've created a world that's absolutely dependent on vaccination", she added.

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