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Measles: the importance of vaccination, disease monitoring and surveillance

The recent resurgence this year in a predominantly childhood infection has focused attention once again on the need to encourage vaccination and therefore increase coverage. Here, Sarah Pitt looks at the background to this and provides an update on progress.

Measles infection is usually mild and self-limiting, but it can be fatal.1 Global reduction in the incidence of, and mortality from, infectious diseases among children was one of the United Nations Millennium development goals,2 and the World Health Organization (WHO) identified enhanced coverage of measles vaccination as a way to support this aim.3 During the first 15 years of the 21st century, reported incidence of measles worldwide fell by 75%, although in 2015 there were over 134,000 deaths from the disease.4

In 2012, elimination of measles altogether in four of the six WHO regions (including the European region) seemed a realistic aim. The WHO region of the Americas was certified as having eradiated measles in 2016. This meant that there had been no new cases of measles acquired within any of those countries locally in the preceding three years. In 2016, there were fewer than 100 reported cases of measles in the USA, and all

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Online
3 December 2021

IBMS Biomedical Science Congress 2022

International Convention Centre, Birmingham
14-17 March 2022

Access the latest issue of Pathology In Practice on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

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