On Air Now
In Conversation With Steve Allen 9pm - 10pm
29 August 2019, 11:54
Measles has returned to four European nations including the UK that were previously seen as free of the illness.
The disease is no longer considered eradicated in Albania, the Czech Republic, Greece and the UK.
The body which monitors the infection in European countries claims measles has been "re-established" in the four countries concerned.
Around 90 thousand cases have already been confirmed across this year across Europe.
The World Health Organisation blames disinformation about vaccines on social media for the rise in cases.
Boris Johnson recently called for decisive action to curtail the anti-vaxx movement and boost the number of children receiving vaccines in the UK.
European Region loses ground in effort to eliminate #measles.#Albania 🇦🇱#CzechRepublic 🇨🇿#Greece 🇬🇷#UnitedKingdom 🇬🇧— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) August 29, 2019
have lost their measles elimination status.https://t.co/xxqdjLpjIS pic.twitter.com/T8Dj3hIzTW
Dr Gunter Pfaff, chair of the European Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination (RVC), said: "Re-establishment of measles transmission is concerning.
"If high immunisation coverage is not achieved and sustained in every community, both children and adults will suffer unnecessarily and some will tragically die."
The disease can be prevented through two doses of the MMR vaccine, which is available for free for all young children in the UK.
Numbers of measles cases were steadily declining worldwide until 2016, when the illness began a resurgence.