Dozens Dead in EU in 'Astounding' Measles Outbreak

There's been an uptick in US, too
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2018 8:17 AM CDT
Dozens Dead in EU in 'Astounding' Measles Outbreak
Make sure everyone in your family is up to date on immunizations.   (Getty Images/CHBD)

Some not-great news out of the World Health Organization regarding one of the most contagious viruses around. Per the BBC, a record number of measles patients has been recorded in the European Union, with last year's nearly 24,000 cases being surpassed by this year's 41,000 figure. In 2016, fewer than 6,000 people in the EU were reported to have come down with the infectious disease. The outbreak has led to at least 37 deaths, the BBC and CBS News report.

Ukraine and Serbia claim the highest measles rates across the EU, with Ukraine at more than 23,000 cases so far this year, per Bloomberg. The cause for the spike, experts say: fewer people getting their immunizations. A doctor calls the number of cases "astounding," telling the BBC that "with a vaccine-preventable disease, one case is one too many." Meanwhile, in the US, the CDC listed 107 measles cases across 21 states and Washington, DC, through July 14, CNN notes. In all of 2017, 118 cases were reported across 15 states and DC, while 86 cases in 19 states were noted in 2016. (Read more measles stories.)

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