Headline : Global measles cases up 300 per cent year-on-year, WHO
- According to WHO, the number of cases of measles world over has seen an increase by 300% in the first 3 months of 2019 compared to same period in 2018.
- The increase in measles cases around the world is attributed to anti-vaccination stigma. According to WHO data, the global vaccination rates have decreased.
- According to WHO, total number of measles cases reported globally is 112,163 between January and March 2019.
- Africa with low vaccination coverage has witnessed a spike in 700% in measles cases reported.
- Israel, Thailand and Tunisia have also experienced alarming outbreaks among unvaccinated groups.
- Philippines and Brazil saw the biggest increase in 2018.
About Anti-vaccine campaign
- Anti-vax campaigns are campaigns against the use of MMR vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella.
- The main reason attributed to spike in measles cases is decreasing global vaccination rates.
- Global vaccination rates are decreasing due to growing vaccine hesitancy.
- Vaccine hesitancy for measles has been growing world over as result of anti-vaccination stigma.
Anti-vax campaign: Reasons
- Link with autism:The campaigns are spreading misinformation that MMR vaccine is linked with autism in children.
- Religious reason: Besides some ultra-orthodox communities are resisting MMR vaccines for religious reasons like a particular Jew community in New York.
- Social media: Besides social media has accelerated the speed at which the misinformation in spread across the world.
- Populist measure: In countries like Italy and France, politicians have supported the anti-vaccination campaign as a populist measure.
- It is a contagious air-borne infection of the respiratory tract.
- It is caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family.
- It can spread through direct contact or coughing, sneezing etc.
- It affects mostly children under the age of 5 years.
- Unvaccinated groups including children, pregnant women.
- People with weak immune system.
- High fever
- Runny nose and cough
- Red and watery eyes,
- Small white spots inside the cheeks
- Rashes in face, upper neck, hands and feet
- Severe respiratory infections such as pneumonia.
- Serious complications include blindness, encephalitis (brain swelling), and diarrhea.