Science

U.S. measles cases hit a record high since the disease was eliminated in 2000

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U.S. measles cases have soared to the highest number since the disease was declared eliminated in the country in 2000. New cases reported April 24 by officials in New York City pushed the 2019 tally past the previous high of 667 cases in 2014, the Associated Press reports. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to provide its next nationwide update on April 29.

Years of inadequate childhood measles vaccination coverage throughout the world have set the stage for the resurgence in the United States as well as in many other countries. An estimated 169 million children globally were not vaccinated against measles from 2010 to 2017 — or an average of 21.1 million per year, according to data released April 24 by UNICEF to kick off World Immunization Week.

“It is unfortunate where we stand in 2019 on measles control, given the fact that we have such an effective, safe and, very importantly, inexpensive vaccine available,” says Robin Nandy, Chief of Immunization at UNICEF in New York City.

Missing measles shots[hhmc]

Globally, 169 million children did not get vaccinated against measles between 2010 and 2017, according to figures released by UNICEF. Most live in countries that struggle to vaccinate everyone due to conflict, limited health services or lack of access to vaccines. But even countries with the resources to ensure widespread vaccination are missing kids, largely due to parental refusal of vaccination. Here are the top 10 high-income countries with the largest numbers of children who havent gotten vaccinated against the infectious disease.

Country Unvaccinated children
1. United States 2,593,000
2. France 608,000
3. United Kingdom 527,000
4. Argentina 438,000
5. Italy 435,000
6. Japan 374,000
7. Canada 287,000
8. Germany 168,000
9. Australia 138,000
10. Chile 136,000

Source: UNICEF and WHO

Among high-income countries, the United States tops the list of those with the largest numbers of kids who have not received the measles vaccine. UNICEF, the United Nations Childrens Fund, reports more than 2.5 million U.S. children went unvaccinated against the virus from 2010 to 2017. France has the next highest number, with more than 600,000 during those years, followed by the United Kingdoms 527,000. The high U.S. and European numbers are explained mostly by parental resistance to vaccines (SN Online: 11/30/18).

“Measles is no longer only a problem of low-income countries or conflict-affected countries,” Nandy says. “Its a risk everywhere.”

Around 91 percent of U.S. kids got at least one measles shot in 2017, according to the CDC. (Two are recommended for the highest amount of protection.) But that level of coverage Read More – Source

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