It is anxious about that the number of cases has jumped from 5,273 in 2016 to 21,315 in 2017, resulting in 35 deaths. The WHO Regional Office for Europe has released new data for 2017 one day ahead of a health ministerial meeting on immunization in Montenegro on 20 February 2018.
Malta remained measles-free despite a Europe-wide surge of the disease past year, according to a surveillance report by the World Health Organisation.
"This short-term setback can not deter us from our commitment to be the generation that frees our children from these diseases once and for all". More than 21,000 cases of the extremely contagious illness were reported, including about 5,000 in Romania, Italy and Ukraine.
People were mostly affected by measles in Romania, Italy and Ukraine, where they amounted for at least 70 percent of Europe's overall digit. The global health watchdog also said vaccine supplies and "underperforming disease surveillance systems" in several European countries have contributed significantly to the rash of recent measles cases. Other countries with large outbreaks included Italy (5,006), Germany (927), France (520) and the United Kingdom (282).
Actions to stop the current outbreaks and prevent new ones are taking place on various fronts. The U.S. eliminated measles in 2000 but saw 118 cases of the disease in 2017. Country data and immunisation activities are reviewed every year by an independent Regional Verification Commission (RVC), which then provides its recommendations on how to resolve specific challenges faced by individual countries. As of the end of 2016, 42 of the 53 countries in the Region had interrupted endemic measles transmission. The MMR vaccine is given for free and forms part of the basic immunisation programme offered to all children born in Malta.
She said the best protection against measles is to be fully vaccinated with two doses of the measles, mumps and rubell (MMR) vaccine. A number of suspect cases are also being investigated.
The title was updated to replace "400% increase" with "4-fold increase" to describe the situation more accurately.