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Europe Witnesses 'Alarming Rise' in Measles Cases, UK Declares 'National Incident'

Europe is witnessing a surge in measles cases, with the World Health Organization (WHO) reporting a significant increase.
In 2023, over 30,000 cases were recorded in Europe, remarkably higher than the 941 cases in 2022. This surge has led to 21,000 hospitalizations and five deaths.

The UK has specifically declared a national incident due to an outbreak, signaling an urgent need for action.

The WHO has expressed concern that this trend will persist if immediate steps aren't taken. Meanwhile, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has noted a consistent rise in measles cases since June 2023.

Countries like Romania are facing a national epidemic, with recent deaths among unvaccinated individuals, including children. Austria and France too are dealing with outbreaks, with several hundred cases reported.

Lower vaccination rates are contributing to the problem. The ECDC highlights that most European countries have less than ideal vaccination coverage, and WHO Europe attributes the resurgence mainly to a decline in vaccinations.

While Hungary, Slovakia, and Portugal exhibit high vaccination rates, Estonia and Romania's are notably low.

The UK Health Security Agency stresses the importance of vaccination to prevent further spread, with significant cases reported in the West Midlands.

Health experts underscore the efficacy and safety of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, urging that it’s crucial for protection and is never too late to catch up.

Measles, a highly contagious disease, can lead to severe complications and death. The WHO describes its transmission as easy through breathing, coughing, or sneezing of those infected.

Children are commonly affected, presenting symptoms like fever, cough, and rash. The MMR vaccine, 96% effective with two doses, is the recommended defense against measles.

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