Folks in developed countries started thinking about measles again a few years ago when their cases began to rise.
Not surprisingly, that coincided with a rise in worldwide cases.
International Measles Outbreaks
While we are seeing record low cases in most developed countries following COVID-19 travel restrictions, mask wearing, and social distancing practices, measles is once again on the rise in regions of the world wear it is still endemic.
In Zimbabwe alone, nearly 700 people, mostly children, have already died this year in a measles outbreak that began in April!
“Almost 41 countries have already put off, or may put off, their measles campaigns for 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This increases the risk of bigger outbreaks around the world, including the United States.”Global Measles Outbreaks
Although reported cases and deaths are still far lower than the highs of 2020, without extensive immunization campaigns, we will likely quickly climb back up to record levels.
“Measles outbreaks result from measles virus finding immunity gaps in the population, combined with travel-related importation and exportation of measles cases and population mixing.”Measles outbreaks strategic response plan: 2021–2023
Whether it is because of a lack of access to vaccines or vaccine hesitancy, we must work to get everyone vaccinated and protected and stop these measles outbreaks.
“The fact that measles outbreaks are occurring at the highest levels we’ve seen in a generation is unthinkable when we have a safe, cost-effective, and proven vaccine. No child should die from a vaccine-preventable disease. We are proud to chart a bold way forward with partners to close gaps in access to immunization and rapidly respond to outbreaks so everyone, everywhere can live healthy lives.”Elizabeth Cousens, President & CEO, United Nations Foundation
In addition to immunization campaigns in those countries with measles outbreaks, it is important to make sure you are vaccinated and protected if traveling.
Remember, two doses of the MMR vaccine are your best protection against measles!
More on Global Measles Outbreaks
- Where Is Measles on the Rise?
- How Contagious Is Measles?
- Why Are You Still Worried About the MMR Vaccine?
- What to Do If Your Child Is Exposed to Measles
- Who Dies with Measles
- CDC – Global Measles Outbreaks
- WHO – Provisional monthly measles and rubella data
- UNICEF and WHO warn of ‘perfect storm’ of conditions for measles outbreaks, affecting children
- Measles & Rubella Strategic Framework 2021-2030
- WHO – Measles outbreaks strategic response plan: 2021–2023
- Measles cases are spiking globally
- Zimbabwe’s Measles Outbreak Claims Nearly 700 Lives
- Zimbabwe Humanitarian Situation
- Liberia: Measles Outbreak – Apr 2022
- CDC Travel Alert – Measles in Afghanistan
- CDC Travel Alert – Measles in Africa
- WHO – Measles Outbreak Toolkit Updated | September 2022