Africa’s measles cases up by 700 pct, global rate rise by 300 pct

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BY AFP

Measles cases shot up by 300 percent globally in the first three months of 2019, compared to the same period last year, the United Nations has said.

This, the UN said is the most dramatic cases in the history of the epidemic, which has weakened vaccination coverage in other regions.

The UN also said Africa saw a 700 percent rise compared to 2018.

Measles, which is highly contagious can be fully prevented through a two-dose vaccine. But the World Health Organization( WHO) recently published a full report on dwindling vaccination rates.

So far this year, 170 countries have reported 112,163 measles cases to the WHO.

At this same time last year, 163 countries had reported 28,124 cases.

At least 800 children have died from measles since September in Madagascar, where creeping malnutrition and a history of poor immunization are leading the world’s worst outbreak.

Measles is an airborne infection which causes fever, coughing and rashes.

It can be deadly in rare cases and the disease had been officially terminated in many countries with advanced healthcare systems.A