Experts warn: the cases of measles have tripled in Europe

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<p class=A woman is vaccinated in a practice by a medical assistant.

image alliance / dpa

Measles are on the rise: according to the World Health Organization, last year so many people in Europe have been infected with the infectious disease as they have been in ten years. In Germany, however, the numbers are declining.

With measles more people have been infected in the European region of the World Health Organization (WHO) than in the past ten years. The number of cases tripled within a year, WHO office Europe reported in Copenhagen. In comparison with 2016, 15 times as many people would have been infected. In 2016, a low record of contamination was registered.

In Germany the trend was the opposite: according to a good 900 cases of measles in 2017, only slightly more than 500 cases were reported last year.

In the 53 countries of the Region, almost 82,600 people with measles would be infected in 2018 – 72 children and adults died, reports the WHO. In addition to the EU, it also includes Russia, Turkey, Israel and the countries of Asia, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.

By far the most affected was the Ukraine with more than 53,000 cases. More than 2000 cases were reported by Serbia (5076), Israel (2919), France (2913), Russia (2256), Italy (2517), Georgia (2203) and Greece (2193).

Although last year so many people have been vaccinated against measles in the region, as never before. But it is not enough, said the director of the regional office, Zsuzsanna Jakab. "We need to do more and do our best to protect everyone from diseases that can be easily avoided."

The virus can infect the brain and is therefore life-threatening. WHO wants to eliminate measles worldwide.

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