The World Health Organization calls on countries to take swift action to stop the spread of the disease.
An outbreak of measles affects Europe with more than 41,000 cases reported in the first half of 2018. Thirty-seven people died, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Last year, 24,000 cases had already been registered over the entire 12-month period, the highest figure in the last ten years.
With more than 1,000 cases reported since the beginning of the year, the most affected countries are Italy, France, Serbia, Greece, Russia and Georgia. Ukraine is particularly affected by 23,000 cases. This epidemic also extends to the United States and Australia, where the main cause of spread would be linked to non-immune travelers who would have brought this disease back to the country.
There is an effective vaccine
The epidemic is caused by the decrease in vaccination, which is nevertheless effective and cheap. The upturn in measles is encouraged by the loss of confidence in the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) since 1998, with the publication of a study that wrongly demonstrated the link between the vaccine and autism.
Since then, some political parties have opposed compulsory vaccination, such as the National Rally of Marine Le Pen or the five-star movement in Italy. Fundamentalist believers often join this position, creating areas where the overall immunization rate is too low to protect unvaccinated children.