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More than 20000 catch measles as parents shun vaccination

21 February 2018

As of the end of 2016, 42 of the 53 countries in the WHO Europe Region had successfully halted endemic measles transmission.

Neighbouring Italy has witnessed a big outbreak of measles, prompting the government a year ago to introduce a law that made it incumbent on kindergarten schools and child care centres to accept only children who are vaccinated.

The HSE said in most cases those who contracted measles had not taken up the vaccine - something which experts say is driving the current surge in cases.

Measles cases more than tripled in Europe previous year, with outbreaks and epidemics fueled by low vaccination rates, the World Health Organization says.

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Referring to the number of outbreaks, which is a case in which more than 100 cases are reported in a year, a health officials said many factors arround vaccination were affecting figures.

In those counties, World Health Organization said, there were declines in overall routine immunization coverage, consistently low coverage among some certain groups, interruptions in vaccine supply or underperforming disease surveillance systems. She describes the loss of lives as a "tragedy we simply can not accept".

Far fewer cases were reported in other European countries, including 967 in Greece, 927 in Germany, 702 in Serbia, 649 in Tajikistan, 520 in France, 408 in the Russian Federation, 369 in Belgium, 282 in the United Kingdom, 167 in Bulgaria, 152 in Spain, 146 in Czechia and 105 in Switzerland.

Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia and brain encephalitis.

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Since the introduction of a process to verify the elimination of measles and rubella in 2012, the WHO European Region has witnessed progression in achieving the ultimate goal.

"This short-term setback can not deter us from our commitment to be the generation that frees our children from these diseases once and for all".

Dr. Mai Mannix, Director of Public Health in the Mid-West stated that ' MMR vaccine is the safest way that parents can protect their children against measles as infants, young children and their families are particularly vulnerable. The CDC has issued travel advisories about Europe, reminding Americans to make sure they are up to date on the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

The Health Service Executive is running an MMR clinic in the Barrack Street Primary Health centre on the city's Edward Street from midday tomorrow to encouarge people to get vaccinated.

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More than 20000 catch measles as parents shun vaccination