“There are 21 major and devastating outbreaks in the world.” Cases doubled in one year

UNICEF and Who is the The alarm sounded on the 21 “large and turbulent outbreaks” of measles Reported all over the world. Cases increased by 79% in the first two months of 2022, compared to the same period in 2021, and “the conditions are ripe for the spread of serious epidemics of vaccine-preventable diseases.”

They warn that we are in a dangerous situation of a “perfect storm.” Agencies are concerned that the measles outbreak may also herald outbreaks of other diseases that are not spreading quickly. In addition to its direct effect on the body, which can be fatal, the measles virus also weakens the immune system and makes a child more susceptible to other infectious diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhea, even months after measles infection among survivors. Nearly 17,338 measles cases were reported worldwide in January and February 2022, up from 9,665 cases in the first two months of 2021.

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Measles outbreak, causes

In 2020, 23 million children skipped basic vaccinations, the highest number since 2009 and an increase of 3.7 million from 2019. As of April 1, 2022, 57 vaccine-preventable disease campaigns in 43 countries planned since the start of the pandemic have been postponed. , affecting 203 million people, most of them children. Of these, 19 are campaigns against measles, putting 73 million children at risk of contracting measles. In Ukraine, the 2019 measles recovery campaign was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic and later by the war. Countries with the largest measles outbreaks since last year include Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Ethiopia.

“Inadequate measles immunization coverage is the main cause of outbreaks wherever they occur.” “The risk of major epidemics has increased – as explained in a joint note – as communities eased social distancing practices and other prevention measures against COVID-19 that were implemented during the most severe phase of the pandemic. In addition, with millions of people displaced by conflict and crisis In Ukraine, Ethiopia, Somalia and Afghanistan, disruptions to routine immunization services and COVID-19, lack of clean water and sanitation, and overcrowding increase the risk of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks.”

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