Monday , May 17 2021

PAHO reports an increase in measles cases in America

The Pan American Health Organization reported a significant increase in measles cases in America, with a focus on Venezuela and a strong increase in Brazil, which has become the country with the most confirmed cases of this disease in the region.

From the beginning of the year to November 30, in the United States, 16,766 confirmed cases of measles have been reported, more than doubled from 8,091 registered by October, suggested PAHO in its latest epidemiological bulletin.

Of the 12 affected countries, Brazil is the one who registered more confirmed cases: 9,898 compared with 2,192 to the previous month, with outbreaks in countries Amazonas and Roraima, the border with Venezuela.

Venezuela, which has so far concentrated most cases of measles in America, also reported an increase: 6,370 cases confirmed in November compared to 5,525 by October.

Review: PAHO reported 12 cases of measles in Ecuador in 2018

PAHO, a regional body of the World Health Organization (WHO), noted that So far this year, 86 deaths have been reported for measles, the majority in Venezuela (73), and the rest in Brazil.

It also highlights the presence of measles in indigenous communities in Brazil and Venezuela.

In the case of Brazil, most of the cases correspond with the auto-area of ​​Auaris, bordering Venezuela. In Venezuela, cases occur in indigenous people from different ethnic groups in the states Amazonas, Delta Amacuro, Monagas and Zulia.

Venezuela has reported the first cases of measles since the current epidemic in July 2017, genotype originally reported in Asia, and later in Europe.

After Brazil and Venezuela, countries with the highest number of cases of measles so far this year are USA (220) and Colombia (171), PAHO said.

Chile joined countries that reported cases of measles in 2018 in America in November, the agency added.

Both were imported: one of them is a resident of Colombia in Chile for 10 years, who may have been infected in Ecuador or Colombia, and the other of a Venezuelan boy from Maracaibo, who went through the country, passing through Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

In addition to these countries, cases of measles have been reported in Peru, Canada, Ecuador, Argentina, Mexico, Antigua and Barbuda, and Guatemala

Find out: Verify the first case of measles imported from Venezuela

– "Vaccination strategies" –

Smallpox is a disease that, despite death, can cause serious complications, for example encephalitis, pneumonia and permanent loss of vision. But it can be prevented by two doses of a "safe and effective" vaccine, according to the WHO.

In its Friday newsletter, PaoZ noted that "Venezuelan health authorities have implemented a series of vaccination strategies to stop the circulation of the virus, including the non-discriminatory vaccination of children from six months to 15 years of age."

In 2016, the region of America became the world's first in the world to receive the chickenpox clearance certificate after several years of vaccination efforts.

But in August last year, PaoZ said the endemic transmission of the measles virus was returned to Venezuela after the same type was present for more than 12 continuous months on its territory.

In order to stop the further spread of the disease in the region, PAHO Director Carissa Etienne then asked to increase vaccination coverage.

Read: A cheap and portable test can detect the risk of measles

WHO announced an increase this week more than 30% of cases of measles in the world in 2017 compared to 2016, attributing the rising "Vaccination coverage vaccinations".

Seth Berkeley, executive director of the vaccine alliance (Gavi), a public and private global health association that advocates improving access to immunization in poor countries, cited "the health system's collapse in Venezuela" as the reasons for this increase, according to the statement of the WHO.

Venezuela has plunged into an acute economic crisis, with a major shortage of drugs, a deficit of procurement and serious shortcomings in the health care system.

At least 2.3 million people have left Venezuela since 2015, mainly in countries in the region, in what the UN considers the largest population movement in the recent history of Latin America.

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