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"We are embarrassed": The US is on the verge of losing the status of measles removal



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There is a "reasonable chance" that the US will soon lose its status as a country that has eliminated measles. According to Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The World Health Organization considers a disease that has been eliminated from a country or region after it has passed at least 1

2 months without continuous spread of the disease. (This is different from disease control, where a disease is completely eradicated globally.) Human beings have eradicated only two diseases: smallpox and rinderpest, which infect cattle and other ruminants.)

The US triumphantly declared that measles had been eliminated in 2000 – after decades of persistent efforts to promote a widespread vaccine. (The CDC had originally hoped to be able to eliminate it by 1982.) And in 2016, the WHO declared the measles eliminated across America. The WHO Regional Office for America (PAHO) celebrated the news with announcements entitled "Bye, bye measles!"

. Now, however, after a worldwide resurgence of highly infectious viral disease, triggered in part by misinformation and vocal inflammation – advocates of beekeeping – both achievements are about to be reversed.

Massive measles outbreaks were detonated in late September in New York. The disease has spread throughout the country and since the beginning of 2019 a total of 1,215 people have fallen ill. This week, the CDC reported 12 new cases from the previous week. Experts predict that weekly caseloads will increase at the start of school – and they are prepared for a painful defeat.

"We're embarrassed, we're upset," said the infectious disease expert. William Schaffner from Vanderbilt University CNN.

Messonnier echoed the feeling and told CNN, "It's certainly incredibly frustrating and annoying for public health that we lose the status of measles elimination because we have a safe and effective vaccine."

The US would not be alone in its humiliating defeat. Earlier this month, the WHO noted that the United Kingdom had lost its status as a measles remover, which it had only gained in 2017.

"The loss of our status 'measles-free' is a clear reminder of how important it is for every eligible person to be vaccinated," said Drs. Mary Ramsay, Head of Vaccination at Public Health England, in a Tweet .

Schaffner and other public health workers give vaccine misinformation and blame themselves for the losses. They are not fast and effective enough to protect the public. "I think this was not our best hour," Schaffner said.

In a statement released today, Wednesday, August 28, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus directly on the problem of vaccine misinformation.

Vaccines are just as contagious and dangerous as the diseases they cause to spread, "he said in the statement. While urging governments to strengthen health care, he generally called on social media platforms and the private sector to participate in the fight. "I urge them to do more to filter out misinformation and inaccuracies that affect people's health and well-being."

In April, the World Health Organization reported that there were measles cases worldwide in the first three months of 2019 was 300% higher than in the first three months of 2018. In 2017, the last year for which complete data is available, measles caused nearly 11,000 deaths.


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