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The UK just lost its measles status and the US could be next



1; do it anywhere and you can wipe it off the face of the Earth, as we have done with smallpox.

In 2017, the WHO decided that the United Kingdom eliminated the virus within its borders based on the low number of cases reported from 2014 to 2016 and the overall high vaccination rate. These rare cases are thought to be transmitted by people traveling from other countries where measles are still endemic. Even if these cases infected the locals, the immunity of the flock would presumably prevent outbreaks of outbreaks.

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But in 2018 there was a dramatically higher number of confirmed measles cases – from 284 cases in England and Wales the previous year to 991 cases, according to the UK government and only in In the first quarter of 2019, there were over 200 confirmed cases. Moreover, the same measles strain was routinely detected in cases in 2017 and 2018, indicating that the virus has managed to stay alive in the country.

These developments, the UK government reported on Monday, led the WHO to abolish the measles country – free status.

The stumbling block of the United Kingdom reflects a sharp recent decline in control of measles spread in Europe and elsewhere. For example, in January 2017, there were fewer than 2000 confirmed or suspected cases documented in the WHO European Region, covering 57 countries. But by January 2019, that number had risen to nearly 20,000. In 2018, there were over 350 cases, which is double the number in 2017. And as of August 15, this year, more than 1,200 cases in 30 states are reported. The number is the highest number observed since the seabird was declared eradicated in the United States in 2000 and the highest since 1992.

Although no measles deaths have been reported, more than 100 people have been hospitalized , many with serious complications such as pneumonia or brain swelling.

Things can still get worse. There are six ongoing outbreaks in four states – New York, California, Washington and Texas, as well as 21 new cases reported just last week. So it is not beyond the possibility that measles can restore support in the US, as the CDC warned.

Most of the cases behind this global resumption have occurred among the unvaccinated. Overall vaccination rates for children remain high in the UK and US, but there are many communities in those countries where the rates have fallen below the level needed to ensure herd immunity. In many of these communities, anti-vaccination propaganda is widespread and widespread.

The measles vaccine is also available in two doses and people who receive only the first are at higher risk of contracting the disease. In the UK, the percentages of people receiving the second dose are lower than they should be. According to the UK Government, only 87.4 percent of eligible children received a second dose – lower than the 95 percent threshold recommended by WHO.


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