Covid-19: the pandemic has revived another virus which threatens millions of children, the WHO gives the alert

While the world is far from over with the Covid-19 pandemic, which started three years ago, many experts, including the World Health Organization (WHO), warn of a risk of imminent return of another disease on the planet this winter: measles. This, with 40 million children on the front line.

“The situation is serious,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which on Friday November 25 sounded the alarm.

While the Covid-19 pandemic, which has been raging around the world for three years now, is still far from over, it has revived another epidemic that was previously under control, but is now ready to break out all over the world this winter: measles (measles, in English).

The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF had already sounded the alarm last April, warning of a risk of “absolute catastrophe”, if the delay in the vaccination of children was not caught up. In vain, according to experts.

In this context, the WHO reiterates its alerts, in a series of reports published this week. Measles vaccination coverage, explains the Organization, “has continued to decline since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

“In 2021, a record number of children (nearly 40 million) missed a dose of measles vaccine: 25 million children missed their first dose and an additional 14.7 million children the second,” it adds. -she, based on a publication resulting from her services in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States.

However, to ensure herd immunity, coverage of at most 95% and two doses of vaccine is necessary. This is the lowest global coverage rate since 2008 for a first dose of measles vaccine.

“This is a significant setback that is reversing the progress made to sustainably eliminate measles in the world and leaving millions of children susceptible to infection”, deplores the WHO, which recalls “that in 2021, there were had, globally, 9 million cases of measles and that 128,000 deaths were attributable to the disease”.

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The director of the WHO, Tedros Adharom Ghebreyesus, also underlines a paradox: “While the vaccines against Covid-19 were developed in record time before being deployed as part of the largest campaign of vaccination history, routine immunization programs have been severely disrupted and millions of children have missed vaccinations”.

Measles is concerned and is one of the most contagious human viruses, while it can be almost entirely preventable by vaccination. World leaders have pledged, as part of the 2030 Immunization Agenda, to immunize all unprotected children by that date, including those who have missed over the past two years.

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