Media Outlets Examine Measles Outbreaks Across World, Role Of Vaccine Hesitancy

Al Jazeera: Philippines: Vaccine scare blamed for deadly measles outbreak
“Health officials in the Philippines are racing to contain a deadly measles outbreak the government blames on a marked decline in immunisations after a scandal surrounding a dengue fever vaccine…” (Gotinga, 2/12).

Bloomberg: Widening Anti-Vaccine Movement Paves the Way for a Measles Comeback
“A growing band of immunization detractors is driving a surge in measles cases from the Philippines to Washington State that threatens to derail efforts to wipe out the disease. Worldwide cases of the viral illness increased by about 50 percent to 2.3 million last year, according to data from the World Health Organization, which included ‘vaccine hesitancy’ in its list of top ten threats to global health this year. The contagion has cropped up in Israel, Greece, Madagascar, the Ukraine, and Venezuela, among others…” (Altstedter/Griffin, 2/12).

Science: Measles cases have tripled in Europe, fueled by Ukrainian outbreak
“Measles cases more than tripled across Europe in 2018, and one country drove much of the surge: Ukraine. Nearly 83,000 cases of measles were reported in the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) European Region in 2018, compared with some 25,500 in 2017, WHO, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, announced last week. Ukraine had more than 54,000 cases in 2018, its government says. … Ukraine’s government is taking action. ‘It’s egregious to have people have measles in the 21st century in a European country,’ says Ulana Suprun, a physician who has been Ukraine’s acting minister of health since August 2016. She blames a decade of corruption, war, a lack of political commitment to vaccination, and antivaccine sentiment…” (Wadman, 2/12).

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