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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

Updated 4 mins ago - World

Russia to blame for Litvinenko's killing, European Court says

The grave of Alexander Litvinenko at Highgate Cemetery in London, England. Photo: Jim Dyson/Getty Images

The European Court of Human Rights ruled Tuesday that Russia "was responsible for the assassination of Aleksandr Litvinenko" in London, England.

  • Litvinenko died in 2006 after being poisoned in the city with Polonium 210, a rare radioactive isotope.

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

The great holiday shortage

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Brace yourself: It's going to be hard to find everything — not just your favorite holiday foods and hot toys and gifts but also basic staples like coffee and footwear — because of supply chain problems that will likely persist at least through next spring.

Why it matters: Scarce resources will likely lead to more scuffles among shoppers in brick-and-mortar stores, fewer deals for Black Friday and online price wars that could threaten the livelihood of already-suffering retailers.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Trudeau's Liberals set to form minority government after Canada election win

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo: Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government was reelected for a third term in Monday's parliamentary elections, but preliminary results show it failed to win a majority.

Why it matters: Trudeau has governed Canada with a minority of legislative support in parliament for the past two years. Last month, he called for an election two years earlier than scheduled in the hope of forming a majority government.