Measles cases in Europe tripled past year, World Health Organization says

Measles cases in Europe ‘highest in decade

One case of measles confirmed in Bell County

In the WHO's European region, which covers almost 900 million people, some 82,600 in 47 countries contracted measles a year ago - the highest number this decade.

Experts can't say for sure where the next outbreak might be.

The WHO says the 2018 surge in measles cases followed a year when European countries achieved their highest ever estimated coverage for the second dose of the measles vaccination - 90%.

It comes as the city of Washington in the United States declared a measles state of emergency, and the measles death toll in south-east Asia continues to rise. It's now reintroduced after someone who travels outside the country gets infected.

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A report published by the European Commission a year ago and compiled by a team led by Larson found that measles immunization coverage has fallen in 12 EU countries since 2010, and that seven out of the 10 countries with the lowest vaccine confidence in the world are in Europe.

The measles vaccine, which is cheap and 97% effective at preventing the disease, has never been shown to be linked to any autism or any of a number of other conditions or disorders that the "anti-vaxxer" community has attempted to pin on it.

"Progress has been uneven between and within countries, leaving increasing clusters of susceptible individuals unprotected, and resulting in a record number of people affected by the virus in 2018", it said in a statement.

Adult vaccination numbers in the county also rose. Five of the cases involve children, at least some of whom had received one round of the vaccination. Between January 13 and February 2, 2,739 children and 1,754 adults were vaccinated compared to 630 children and 60 adults over the same period a year ago.

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"There's no reason we should be having this outbreak", says Melnick. More than 50 cases have been reported in Clark, King and Multnomah counties since early January. "We're hopeful and any time we see that there are no new exposure locations that's helpful", said Marissa Armstrong, spokeswoman for the Clark County Public Health. More than 1,700 hundred adults have been vaccinated since the third week of January.

Depending on the relevant state and territory health departments, in Australia, there are some governmen-funded catch up vaccination programs for refugees and migrants.

Data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2017 ChildVaxView Report, which details MMR vaccination coverage among children 19-35 months by state and region using data from the National Immunization Survey-Child from 2017, reports that Washington state has the sixth lowest coverage rate in the nation at 88.5%.

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