The World Health Organization has issued a warning following the death of 35 people across Europe due to a measles outbreak in the region.

In recent years, Europe has seen a massive spike in cases of measles, including over 3,000 in Italy alone, with the latest death coming from a six-year-old boy in that region.

In a statement, the WHO says anti-vaccination groups are primarily responsible for the spike in measles, saying “Every death or disability caused by this vaccine-preventable disease is an unacceptable tragedy. We are very concerned that although a safe, effective and affordable vaccine is available, measles remains a leading cause of death among children worldwide, and unfortunately Europe is not spared.”

Over the past year, Romania, Italy, Germany and Portugal have seen measles related deaths, with the majority of deaths coming from Romania.

IFL Science is reporting that since the measles outbreak, several European countries are considering tightening their vaccine requirements, including Italy, which recently said that vaccines will become mandatory for all schoolchildren.

Dr. Jakab, WHO’s regional director for Europe, has “urge[d] all endemic countries to stop transmission of measles within their borders, and all countries that have already achieved this to keep up their guard and sustain high immunization coverage.”

Anyone traveling to Europe, especially those with small children, should make sure that their entire party has the measles vaccine. Since children are the ones most vulnerable, it is essential that all parents take the necessary precautions before traveling to these impacted countries.

Will you be traveling to Europe following the WHO announcement? Share your thoughts below!

Source: IFL Science


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