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WHO Issues Measles Warning For Europe

The WHO on Friday issued a measles warning for Europe, where measles outbreaks “have caused nine deaths, including six in France, and 7,288 hospitalizations,” BBC News reports. A WHO report “says there were over 26,000 measles cases in 36 European countries from January to October 2011.” According to the news service, “Western European countries reported 83 percent of those cases, with 14,000 in France alone,” and “[i]n England and Wales, there were just under 1,000 confirmed measles cases in that period — compared with just 374 in the whole of 2010.”

“Ninety percent of European cases were amongst adolescents and adults who had not been vaccinated or people where it was not known if they had been vaccinated or not,” BBC writes, noting, “France has now launched a nationwide campaign to raise awareness about the need for MMR vaccination.” The news service adds, “Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO regional director for Europe, said: ‘The increase in measles in European countries reveals a serious challenge to achieving the regional measles elimination goal by 2015’” (12/2).