Global & Disaster Medicine

Measles’ comeback


“…….In 2001, the United Nations declared war on measles……[T]he U.N. began the Measles and Rubella Initiative and created Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

Together, they poured billions of dollars into buying vaccines and helping countries deliver it safely, which meant building refrigerated storage facilities, supplying clean needles, training vaccinators and countering other logistical obstacles common in poor countries……..

Measles declined worldwide by nearly 80 percent between 2000 and 2016, with fatalities — mostly among children younger than age 5 — plummeting to about 90,000 per year from about 550,000……

But two years ago, measles cases unexpectedly popped upward again, rising 30 percent in a single year……

The biggest factor in that increase….was poverty: Medical systems in many countries remain too weak to vaccinate enough children year after year to wall out the virus…..”

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