The COVID-19 pandemic’s persistent effects on vaccination coverage and weakened disease surveillance, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and US health agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have increased the threat of measles spreading globally.
40 million youngsters missed a measles vaccination dose in 2021, according to a joint report from the two organisations. This is attributed to difficulties brought on by the COVID-19 epidemic.
While the number of measles infections has not increased much compared to prior years, Patrick O’Connor, the World Health Organization’s measles lead, told Reuters that the moment to act is now.
‘We are at a crossroads,’ he remarked, adding that the next 12-24 months are going to be very challenging, as the world tries to mitigate the situation.
Although there are expanding immunity gaps, he claimed that the number of instances is still not very high. According to him, a number of causes, such as the illness’ cyclical nature and still-in-effect social isolation policies, may be to blame.
O’Connor warned that this could change quickly given the highly contagious nature of the illness.