The World Health Organisation (WHO) officially declared that measles had been eradicated in the UK in 2017. Less than three years later and that eradication status has been revoked, as well as in Albania, Greece and the Czech Republic, indicating the circulation of measles around communities again. The global outbreaks occurring are likely to have been instigated by the escalation in the anti-vaccination movement. The spread of this distorted information can be linked to the dramatic decrease in vaccine compliance- with an estimated 20.8 million toddlers around the world having not received a single dose of the MMR vaccine1. As a highly infectious virus, the decline in vaccinations has a big impact on the propagation of the disease, with over 110,000 cases reported in 2017 globally1.
America has also experienced their greatest outbreak of measles in 27 years, with over 1240 people infected by the virus in just 9 months2, jeopardising the USA’s almost two-decade old elimination status. As the severity of this situation is becoming increasingly apparent, with the WHO estimating that 9 out of 10 measles cases go unreported3- people are calling for more drastic measures, such as compulsory vaccinations and fines for the unvaccinated, to be taken to prevent unnecessary illness in future.
- World Health Organisation (2019). Measles: Key Facts. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/measles
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019). Measles Cases and Outbreaks. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html
- World Health Organisation (2019). Immunisation, Vaccines and Biologicals: New Measles surveillance data for 2019. Available at: https://www.who.int/immunization/newsroom/measles-data-2019/en/