Four countries have lost measles free status
According to the World Health Organization, four countries have lost their measles free status as they experienced a setback recently. The disease has been found in Albania, the Czech Republic, Greece, and the United Kingdom.
The blame for this growth is on anti-vaccination movement, which spread through social media discouraging parents to vaccine their children against measles and other diseases. According to WHO, 33 countries out of 53 counties were measles elimination status and two countries Austria and Switzerland achieved measles free status in 2018.
“” Re-establishment of measles transmission is concerning,” said Dr. Günter Pfaff, Chair of the European Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination (RVC).
In the first half of 2019 there had been a 90,000 cases of measles reported compared to 2018 measles cases reported in the year 2018. “Great efforts to control this highly contagious disease have brought us a long way towards regional elimination,” said Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO regional director for Europe.”This is the time and opportunity to address any underlying health system, social determinants and societal challenges that may have allowed this deadly virus to persist in this region.”
Social media had a huge role to play in the increase of measles, as the information related to Anti-Vaccine spread very fast. However, certain social media platforms are acting. In an attempt to stop the spread of such information, certain sites like Pinterest have been doing their best. The searches in Pinterest related to vaccine shows only information related to WHO, the US Centers for Disease Control and prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the WHO established Vaccine Safety Net.
The MMR vaccine is 97% effective when you get both the recommended doses. Most of the small cases found in European countries in the past years were from overseas travelers and the virus never spread far enough.