Nov 13, 2020 - Health

Measles is surging around the world

a measles vaccine
A Red Cross vaccination campaign in the Philippines in 2019. Photo: Alejandro Ernesto/picture alliance via Getty Images

Measles is resurgent around the world, and the coronavirus pandemic could make it even worse.

The state of play: More than 200,000 people died from measles last year — an increase of more than 60% since 2000, according to a new report from the CDC and the World Health Organization.

  • Measles is preventible, but vaccinations have stalled for several years.

The big picture: This isn't a coronavirus problem — these data are from 2019 before the pandemic began. But it could become one.

  • Many countries have paused their vaccination efforts because of the pandemic. More than 94 million people could therefore be at risk to miss their vaccinations, per the AP.
  • Even in countries like the U.S., where vaccination rates are higher and don't require the same kind of intensive campaign often found in developing countries, routine vaccinations have plummeted during the pandemic.
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