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India accounts for 47 percent of global measles deaths

New Delhi, Tue, 24 Apr 2012 NI Wire

A recent study made by WHO along with researchers from Penn State University in the United States and from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown that the death rates from measles has fell to 74% globally from 2000 to 2010 in comparison to the set target of 90% reduction in the death rates. The major reason for missing the target is the low availability of vaccine in India and Africa where the case of death due to measles were tens of thousands a year.

India has a relatively lower vaccine coverage of 74% just ahead Africa where the vaccine coverage is 76%. The total global coverage of the vaccine for measles in t 2010 was 85% with 79% coverage in Southeast Asia excluding India, 95% in Europe, 93% in America and 97% in Western pacific.

While the total number of deaths due to measles were reduced significantly from 5.35 lakh in 2000 to 1.39 lakh 2010 across the globe, almost half of the deaths were recorded only in India. 47% of total deaths were recorded in India.

During the year 2010, a total number of nearly 30,000 new cases of measles were recorded in India, and the total number of deaths due to the disease were recorded to be 65,500.

Measles is a contagious viral disease that spreads when an already infected person breaths, coughs or sneezes. The disease has no specific treatment till date and is mostly overcome by the natural immunity of a person that helps the patient to recover in 2 to 3 weeks. The disease can lead to sever complications especially to the person with weak immune system including blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhoea, ear infections and pneumonia. However, the disease can be prevented through proper immunization and vaccination.

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