Measles Cases Rising Across Europe, World Health Organization Warns
Measles is on the rise in Europe.
The World Health Organization reported 500 cases across the continent in January 2017.
The highly contagious disease is most prevalent in Italy and Romania, where immunization is lowest. According to BBC, 200 Italians came down it in January alone. While in Romania, more than 3,400 cases were reported since the start of 2016—leading to 17 deaths.
To prevent measles from spreading, WHO recommends immunizing 95 percent of the population. France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, and Ukraine, which have seen cases surge, all fell below this threshold. BBC reports 575 cases of measles in the UK since February 2016.
For young children, measles poses the greatest threat. Symptoms of the disease, which is spread through the air and direct contact, include high fever, cold-like symptoms, and a rash after several days.
While there is no treatment for the disease itself, WHO recommends vaccinations as the best way to fight against measles.
In war-torn parts of Ukraine, people are having problems with vaccine deliveries. Elsewhere in Europe, there is a rise in the number of people afraid of purported health side-effects, BBC reports.