European Measles Cases Quadrupled in 2017

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In 2017, the highly contagious disease, typified by a red rash throughout the body, affected 21,315 people and caused 35 deaths - compared with 5,273 cases in 2016 - World Health Organization researchers said in a

The WHO attributed the high number of reported cases in all three countries to the overall drop in immunisation coverage provided by Bucharest, Rome, and Kiev, especially to those from at-risk communities.

"Over 20,000 cases of measles, and 35 lives lost in 2017 alone, are a tragedy we simply can not accept". Romania, Italy, and Ukraine were listed as the hardest hit by the outbreak.

On Tuesday, the World Health Organisation (Who) said cases of the disease in Europe increased by 400 per cent a year ago.

The announcement came ahead of a meeting of health ministers to discuss how to achieve goals set out in the European Vaccine Action Plan.

According to the HSE's latest update there is an ongoing outbreak of measles in the midwest region and since October 2017 more than 10 cases have occurred in the Dublin and north east region.

The best protection against measles is to be fully vaccinated with 2 doses of the MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) vaccine.

Europe has been struggling to control measles for years.

"Most cases so far are associated with the Ballinacurra Weston and Carew Park (Southill) area of the city".

There will be a free MMR clinic this Wednesday, February 21, 12pm to 3pm, at Barrack View Primary Care Centre, Edward Street, Limerick.

Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a viral infection.

The measles rash is made up of red or brown blotches.

All of these were in the final months of the year.

Dr. Mai Mannix, Director of Public Health in the Mid-West stated that ' MMR vaccine is the safest way that parents can protect their children against measles as infants, young children and their families are particularly vulnerable.