Falling immunisation rates linked to spread of measles

February 22, 2015 1:17 PM

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Despite hopes in Europe that measles would be officially eradicated by 2015, there have been almost 4000 cases in the past year. A recent outbreak in Germany has resulted in 400 cases of measles in the past four months, with 254 recorded in January alone. In the United States, where the virus was declared "eliminated" in 2000, more than 100 cases have emerged this year. Most of the cases have been linked to unvaccinated adults and children, prompting debate about the steps necessary to ensure that individuals, schools, communities and countries are immune.

Measles is a highly contagious, airborne, respiratory virus that manifests in flu-like symptoms and a widespread rash. Complications include middle ear infections, pneumonia and encephalitis (brain inflammation). Two doses of measles mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, typically given at 12 months and ...

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