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World Health Organization: Nearly 1,000 Madagascar children dead of measles since October

Posted by Charles Clerck (Admin) Feb 18, 2019

At least 922 children and young adults have died of measles in Madagascar since October, despite a huge emergency vaccination program, the World Health Organization (WHO) said last Thursday.

Measles is a highly contagious disease, which can cause severe diarrhoea, pneumonia and vision loss and can be fatal in some cases, and remains “an important cause of death among young children,” according to WHO. This is frustrating since the disease can be easily prevented with two doses of a “safe and efficient” vaccine that has been in use since the 1960s, the UN agency said. Last year, measles caused approximately 136,000 deaths around the world, according to WHO’s preliminary figures.

The resurgence of the disease in some countries has been linked to medically baseless claims linking the measles vaccine to autism, which have been spread in part on social media by members of the so-called “anti-vax” movement. In Europe and other wealthy areas, meanwhile, experts blame the problem in part on complacency and misinformation about the vaccine. 

The story has been widely reported including Reuters, Washington Post, France 24 and the UK's Guardian and Independent

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