Recent outbreaks of potentially fatal viral disease in several countries stem from the growth of the vaccine protection movement, which has spread through social media and discourages parents from immunizing their children against measles and other diseases.
Right Populist politicians like Italian Matteo Salvini, who advocated a bill to abolish child immunization, have also helped keep the public from scientific orthodoxy.
By the end of 2018, 33 out of 53 countries in the European Region maintained their status of measles eradication. Two ̵
Two countries have interrupted the transmission of measles No new cases for 12-35 months. Twelve countries remain endemic for measles and the four countries mentioned above have resumed measles transmission.
"The restoration of measles transmission is important," Dr. Günter Pfaff, Chair of the European Commission for the Regional Review of Measles and Rubella Elimination (RVC).
" Unless a high vaccination coverage is achieved and maintained in each community, both children and adults will suffer unnecessarily and some will tragically die. "
About 90,000 cases of measles were reported in the first half of the year The number of cases starting in 2018 continued to increase when 84,462 cases were reported during the year.
The WHO has declared a second-degree emergency and stepped up its efforts against measles for an explanation.
"Great efforts to combat this highly contagious disease have brought us a long way to regional eradication," said Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe.
"This is the time and opportunity to look at all underlying health systems – social determinants and societal challenges that may have resulted in this deadly virus persisting in this region."
online Misinformation as the main culprit
Social media is proving to be a key battleground for health information.
Professor Martin Marshall, vice chairman of the British Royal College of GPs, said the results were "daunting" at a time when Europe was making good press in eliminating a completely preventable disease. He found a connection between falling vaccination rates and the spread of "anti-Vaxer propaganda" in the social media.
"It is clear that we are still suffering from completely debunked allegations involving MMR (measles, mumps and rubella vaccine) were immortalized in the nineties – and are now on social media and other online platforms back on the rise, "Marshall said in a statement.
As of August 28th, the search for vaccine-related terms only results from institutions such as the World Health Organization, the US Centers for the Control and Prevention of Diseases, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the WHO-established Vaccine Safety Net to the spread of ti-vax content.
"Misinformation about vaccines is as contagious and dangerous as the diseases they spread," the WHO said in a statement.
"The World Health Organization welcomes Pinterest's leadership in protecting public health only by providing evidence-based information about vaccines to its users."
A Global Issue
These outbreaks were largely observed among children in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, whose Parents have refused to vaccinate them.
When WHO explains this When the United States eradicated measles in 2000, it was hailed as one of the greatest achievements in public health in the country's history.
Health professionals are looking at a range of solutions, including the introduction of vaccination and the imposition of fines on parents who refuse.
Heidi Larson, director of the London-based hygiene and tropical medicine school vaccine safety project, told CNN that due to the seriousness of the situation, health authorities should be in emergency mode.
"Ninety thousand cases in the first half of the year are a tremendous amount of measles," she said, adding that nations should increase their routine vaccines to proactively identify under-vaccinated groups.
Larson also recommends that health agencies engage in social media to spread positive messages about vaccines.
"There are people," said Larson, who believes that efforts are needed. "We have created a world that is totally dependent on vaccines," she added. "That's a really big deal."