Global measles cases on the rise
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 4/16/19, 12:09 pm
World health officials on Monday warned of a global surge in measles cases. The number of people sickened by the virus rose by 300 percent in the first three months of 2019, the World Health Organization reported. More than 1,200 people have died in an ongoing measles outbreak in Madagascar, where officials have recorded more than 117,000 cases since the outbreak began in September 2018. Only 58 percent of people on the country’s main island have received vaccinations. Most of the casualties are children younger than 15, according to WHO. Nearly 50 percent of children in the country are malnourished, a condition that exacerbates the disease.
Measles is a highly contagious virus that can spread by coughing, sneezing, or close contact with an infected person or surface. The United States has recorded 555 cases this year. Last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a public health emergency and ordered mandatory vaccinations in a Brooklyn neighborhood that recorded 285 cases.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.