The WHO and CDC declare measles to be an immediate global threat

The WHO and CDC declare measles to be an immediate global threat

The WHO and CDC declare measles to be an immediate global threat

A combined report from two major public health authorities has declared measles an “extreme threat” to the global community.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) warned Thursday that a record drop in measles vaccination rates and a prolonged major outbreak mean the respiratory virus is an “imminent threat in every region of the world.” world”.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was “absolutely critical” that immunization programs were put back on track to avoid what he called “preventable disease”.

The WHO and CDC declare measles to be an immediate global threat
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says vaccinations are the most important factor in reducing the risk of measles.
Pacific Press/LightRocket via Ge

“The paradox of the pandemic is that while vaccines against Covid-19 were developed in record time and administered in the largest vaccination campaign in history, routine immunization programs were severely disrupted, and millions of children missed out on life-saving vaccinations against deadly diseases like measles. “, said Dr. Ghebreyesus.

According to the WHO, India, Somalia and Yemen are the three countries with the highest outbreaks of measles.

While measles is considered one of the most contagious viruses, a vaccine containing measles, mumps and rubella given in childhood is considered the best defense to reduce future outbreaks.

In Australia, vaccinations are free for children aged 12 to 18 months. People under the age of 20, refugees and humanitarian visitors may also be eligible for a booster shot.

The CDC states that nine out of 10 people who are not vaccinated against the disease will become infected as soon as they are exposed.

A child receives a vaccine after a measles outbreak in India, November 23, 2022.
A child receives a vaccine after a measles outbreak in India, November 23, 2022.
AFP via Getty Images

The virus is transmitted by droplets of water that infected people sneeze and cough. Common symptoms include fever, cold symptoms, conjunctivitis and a red and blotchy rash that first appears around the face and hairline before spreading to other areas of the body.

The characteristic rash usually appears three to four days after the initial symptoms develop.

Last week, visitors traveling through Melbourne Airport were asked to monitor for symptoms until Saturday, December 3.

The three confirmed cases were in a family that traveled to Melbourne from Singaporethus bringing the total number of confirmed cases to five in 2022.

The passengers boarded Qantas flight QF36/Emirates flight EK5036 in Singapore on Monday and landed at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport at around 6:10am on Tuesday. They were reportedly at the airport by 8:40 am.

Victoria’s deputy chief health officer Deborah Friedman urged people who have developed symptoms to seek medical attention and to wear a mask and call ahead to ensure they can isolate themselves from others.

A bottle of measles/rubella vaccine.
A bottle of measles/rubella vaccine.
AFP via Getty Images

She said young children and adults with weakened immune systems are at the greatest risk of serious illness.

“Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that spreads rapidly through close contact, particularly in those who are not fully vaccinated,” Ms. Friedman said.

It comes after NSW reported its first case of measles in two years in September this year. A person in his 50s was infected after traveling to Asia and developed symptoms after returning to Sydney.

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