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Global measles cases up 300 percent year-on-year: WHO

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Measles cases rose 300 percent worldwide through the first three months of 2019 compared to the same period last year, the UN said Monday, as concern grows over the impact of anti-vaccination stigma.

Measles, which is highly contagious, can be entirely prevented through a two-dose vaccine, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has in recent months sounded the alarm over slipping global vaccination rates.

“Preliminary global data shows that reported cases rose by 300 percent in the first three months of 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. This follows consecutive increases over the past two years,” it said in a statement.

“While this data is provisional and not yet complete, it indicates a clear trend. Many countries are in the midst of sizeable measles outbreaks, with all regions of the world experiencing sustained rises in cases,” WHO further said.

The agency noted that only about one in 10 actual measles cases are reported, meaning the early trends for 2019 likely underestimate the severity of the outbreaks.

So far this year, 170 countries have reported 112,163 measles cases to WHO. At this time last year, 163 countries had reported 28,124 cases.

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“Spikes in case numbers have also occurred in countries with high overall vaccination coverage, including the United States,” WHO said.

“The disease has spread fast among clusters of unvaccinated people,” it added.

New York’s mayor declared a public health emergency in parts of Brooklyn last week, after a measles outbreak emerged in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, where some had resisted vaccination on religious grounds.

WHO said that the most dramatic rise in cases — a 700-percent increase compared to last year — has been reported in Africa, which has weaker vaccination coverage than other regions.

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Chuck Todd’s terrible interview with fabricator-in-chief Trump snapped the tether: From here on out there’s no truth

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Nothing will ever be the same again. Donald Trump’s unwavering disregard for reality and his acts of violence against the truth are rapidly metastasizing into the marrow of the national debate. I'm not sure we have enough heroes in this country to successfully extricate Trumpism and toss it into the biohazard waste bin of history, along other embarrassments in America's mixed record.

The very fabric of right and wrong in America is disintegrating as one of our two major parties, with some crucial help from Russia, has convinced four out of every 10 voters that verifiable truth is nothing more than a fake news plot against them and their beloved Fifth Avenue Clampetts. As a result, half of the political debate, from the local level on up, is built exclusively on wrongness — on total nonsense, invented by Trump himself along with his propaganda cable network.

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New York’s legislature gives landlords a lesson in democracy

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The knockout punch that the New York State Legislature just landed fighting landlords over spiraling rents ought to be attracting wider attention.

Just as with healthcare access or prescription drug prices, the cost of rent increases that mostly benefit big apartment owners is a challenge to the income-gap society that are at the heart of the national political debate. Every urban center in the country is having housing problems, and rents, like mortgages, are a subject at every kitchen table.

For once, the New York Legislature, whose Democrats overcame internecine divisions this session, has abolished rules that let building owners deregulate apartments, and closed loopholes that have permitted landlords to raise rents. And the changes for better tenant protection were made permanent, eliminating the recurring drama over these issues.

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DC Report

Trump’s EPA wants minimal limits on poison in drinking water

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The Trump EPA calculated recommended limits of a dangerous chemical sometimes found in drinking water that can harm babies’ brain development that were more than 9 times higher than those imposed by a few states by fudging a key number in the calculation.

The Trump recommended a limit for perchlorate, which can harm infant brain development, of 56 micrograms per liter, far above the limit of 6 that California imposed and 2 that Massachusetts set, more than a decade ago.

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 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH 

Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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