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More than half the world faces high measles risk, WHO says

Geneva, Switzerland Reuters More than half the world’s countries will be at high or very high risk of measles outbreaks by the end of the year unless urgent preventative measures are taken, the World Health Organization warned on Tuesday. Measles cases have been increasing across most regions mainly due to missed vaccinations during the COVID-19 […]

Fewer US evangelicals support public school childhood vaccine requirements, survey shows

US attitudes to vaccines1

United StatesRNS In what could be a sign of COVID-19’s influence, some sectors of US society – specifically white evangelicals and Republicans – are showing a growing aversion to the requirement that schoolchildren be vaccinated for illnesses like mumps and measles. Overall, about 70 per cent of Americans say healthy children should be mandated to […]

Measles now an imminent global threat due to pandemic, say WHO and CDC

DRC measles vaccine

Reuters There is now an imminent threat of measles spreading in various regions globally, as COVID-19 led to a steady decline in vaccination coverage and weakened surveillance of the disease, the World Health Organization and the US public health agency said on Wednesday. Measles is one of the most contagious human viruses and is almost […]

Deadly childhood diseases rise in Ethiopia’s Tigray as war hampers vaccinations

Ethiopia Tigray Mekelle hospital

Nairobi, KenyaReuters Deadly diseases such as measles, tetanus and whooping cough are on the rise in Ethiopia’s Tigray region after vaccination rates plunged during the civil war that broke out nearly two years ago, doctors and regional health officials say. The percentage of children in Tigray receiving routine vaccines has fallen below 10 per cent […]

Zimbabwe says measles outbreak has killed 700 children

Harare, ZimbabweAP The death toll from a measles outbreak in Zimbabwe has risen to almost 700 children, the country’s health ministry has said. Some are calling for the enactment of legislation to make vaccination mandatory in a country where anti-modern medicine religious sects hold sway on large swathes of the population of 15 million people. […]

UN says needs $US655 million to avert new measles and polio epidemics

Pakistan vaccinations

London, UKReuters Severe disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to immunisation campaigns against measles and polio are putting millions of vulnerable children at risk from deadly and debilitating diseases, United Nations agencies said on Friday. Issuing an urgent call for funding to avert epidemics of the contagious diseases, the UN children’s fund UNICEF and the […]

Seasonal flu reports hit record lows amid global social distancing

UK social distancing

Beijing, ChinaReuters Global social distancing rules targeting coronavirus have pushed influenza infection rates to a record low, early figures show, signalling that the measures are having an unprecedented impact on other communicable diseases.  In China, where the earliest wide-scale lockdown measures began, new reports of diseases including mumps, measles and some sexually transmitted diseases, have […]