Measles killed more than 140,000 people in 2018

Measles killed more than 140,000 people in 2018

After decades of dramatic progress, the fight against measles is stagnating and the number of deaths is rising again in 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) and US health authorities warned on Thursday. place from the Pacific to Europe.

It is one of the most contagious viruses, which can stay in a room two hours after an infected person has passed, and has caused epidemics on five continents since 2018, exploding in cities or neighborhoods where too few people are vaccinated.

The small Samoa islands in the South Pacific are currently fighting the epidemic and counting their deaths: 62 since October. Almost all were children under four years old. The authorities cut off access to the archipelago and carried out a door-to-door vaccination campaign on Thursday.

Half of the cases in five countries

Five countries have concentrated almost half of cases in 2018: Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Madagascar, Somalia and Ukraine, according to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But the virus travels easily. Israel has seen the importation of about 100 cases from elsewhere, the Philippines and Ukraine. From there, some infected travelers transmitted the disease to Jewish neighborhoods in New York and contributed to the largest epidemic in the United States since 1992.

In rich countries, measles does not kill or very little. But in the DRC, measles kills twice as much as Ebola: 5,000 dead this year.

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