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We are facing a measles epidemic. All it takes is a few percent of unvaccinated children and an outbreak may occur

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The World Health Organization is sounding the alarm and warning about a measles epidemic. In 2023, the number of measles cases in Europe increased as much as 60 times. Our statistics are not that bad, but this is not an argument to ignore the warnings and risks.

More children are still being brought to the hospital in Weston, Florida for tests. The matter is serious because a measles outbreak broke out in the local school. – We have six cases of measles at school. We are doing everything we can to disinfect the building and replace its air filters, says Peter Licata, superintendent of Broward County Public Schools in Florida. The World Health Organization (WHO) warns once again: in 2024, in most countries around the world, the risk of a measles epidemic will be high or very high unless radical preventive measures are taken. – This year we will have an outbreak of measles. We are really concerned about what may happen, says Dr. Natasha Crowcroft, WHO expert on measles and rubella.

READ ALSO: Measles epidemic in Europe. Many children in Poland are unvaccinated

This is the second alert on this matter in a short time. Recently, WHO specialists reported shocking data that in 2023, there was a 62-fold increase in measles cases in the European region. – This threat is very real. Especially since the last significant increases occurred in 2018-2019. In Poland alone, over 1,800 cases were recorded. It was a so-called compensatory epidemic and now everything indicates that, unfortunately, this result may be repeated – emphasizes Professor Agnieszka Szuster-Ciesielska, a virologist from the Department of Virology and Immunology, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin.

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There is a measles epidemic in other European countries. Many children in Poland are unvaccinatedMarek Nowicki/Fakty TVN

Appeals for vaccinations

The number of unvaccinated children in Poland is increasing every year. In Weston, Florida, a measles outbreak occurred at a school where “only” eight percent of children were unvaccinated. There are also many “undervaccinated” places like Weston in Poland, especially in the eastern voivodeships.

READ ALSO: A disease that was supposed to no longer exist

The Minister of Health, Izabela Leszczyna, has recently established a team for monitoring infectious diseases. – Of course, we are monitoring this situation and I am in constant contact with professors. We had our last team meeting a few days ago. Measles is one of the topics we monitor, emphasizes Minister Leszczyna.

READ ALSO: Measles epidemic in Romania. Many children were unvaccinated, thousands of cases

However, monitoring is definitely not enough, experts say. In the face of the threat reported by the World Health Organization, more radical measures are needed. – You can create some regulations regarding the admission of children to kindergarten, nursery or school, and if there are no restrictions in this direction, I would think that they should be introduced – said Professor Krystyna Bieńkowska-Szewczyk from the Department of Molecular Biology of Viruses. at the University of Gdańsk. All this in order to convince at least some people to vaccinate their children.

Main photo source: Fakty TVN

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