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Measles vaccination. Photo: Media for Medical/UIG via Getty Images.

Multiple countries experienced severe and protracted outbreaks of measles in 2017, which led to a 30% spike worldwide, the World Health Organization reports.

The big picture: The WHO concludes the uptick from 2016 to 2017 resulted from a lack of access to vaccinations. The Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean region and Europe experienced the greatest increases.

By the numbers: More than 6.7 million people, mostly young children, contracted measles in 2017. About 110,000 died because of the disease, a large decrease since 2000, which had 500,000 deaths, according to the WHO.

  • The measles vaccination resulted in an 80% drop in measles deaths between 2000 and 2017 worldwide.
  • Global vaccination rates for the highly contagious disease are just 85% on average. To stop transmission, 95% of a population needs to be vaccinated.

The WHO explains that conflict and unrest in countries like Pakistan, Nigeria and Venezuela is reversing the efforts toward eliminating the disease. In addition, Italy is experiencing anti-vaccine rhetoric throughout the country, leaving less children vaccinated.

“Without urgent efforts to increase vaccination coverage and identify populations with unacceptable levels of under-, or unimmunized children, we risk losing decades of progress in protecting children and communities against this devastating, but entirely preventable disease.”
— Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, deputy director general for programmes at WHO.

Go deeper

Cuomo: "No way I resign" after sexual harassment accusations

Cuomo at a Feb. 24 press conference. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was defiant on Sunday, stating again that he would not resign even as more former aides have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.

The big picture: Cuomo has denied all sexual harassment allegations against him and said that he "never inappropriately touched anybody." He acknowledged in a statement that "some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation." Some of the calls for Cuomo to resign have come from within the Democratic party.

N.Y. Times faces culture clashes as business booms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New York Times columnist David Brooks' resignation from a paid gig at a think tank on Saturday is the latest in a flurry of scandals that America's biggest and most successful newspaper company has endured in the past year.

Driving the news: Brooks resigned from the Aspen Institute following a BuzzFeed News investigation that uncovered conflicts of interest between his reporting and money he accepted from corporate donors for a project called "Weave" that he worked on at the nonprofit.

America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.