Health News of Sunday, 9 February 2014
Global deaths from measles dropped 78% between 2000 and 2012, the World Health Organization estimates.
New figures from the WHO suggest that around 13.8 million deaths were prevented during this time and reported cases declined by 77%.
Good routine immunisation levels and campaigns to vaccinate children are thought to be behind the figures.
But the WHO says measles is still a global threat and some populations remain unprotected.
The mortality estimates from the WHO show that annual measles deaths decreased from more than 562,000 in 2000 to 122,000 in 2012.
Reported cases of measles worldwide declined from 853,480 to 226,722 over the same time. Continue reading the main story “Start Quote
There is much more work to be done as more than 330 deaths (mainly among children) still occur daily from measles ”
Karen Mah The Measles and Rubella Initiative
Currently, 84% of the world's infants receive the first dose of measles vaccine before their first birthday, according to the WHO.
It says that 145 countries have also introduced a routine second dose of measles vaccine to ensure immunity and prevent outbreaks.
Mass campaigns against measles in 2012 resulted in a further 145 million children being vaccinated against the disease, taking the total number of vaccinated children to more than one billion since 2000.
However, there are still concerns that despite this good news, measles remains a worldwide threat.