WHO: New measles surveillance data for 2019

17 April, 2019

Dear HIFA and CHIFA colleagues,

'Preliminary global data shows that reported cases rose by 300 percent in the first three months of 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. This follows consecutive increases over the past two years.'

Read online: https://www.who.int/immunization/newsroom/measles-data-2019/en/

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New measles surveillance data is now available on the WHO website. https://www.who.int/immunization/monitoring_surveillance/burden/vpd/surv... This preliminary data is based on country reports submitted to WHO at the end of every month. Please note these are not official numbers as countries are still reporting cases to WHO. Through WHO and UNICEF’s joint reporting channels, official numbers are made available annually for the previous year in July. Current estimates for total cases and deaths are released in November.

Data from this summary should therefore be reported as provisional and clearly dated (i.e. “provisional data based on monthly data reported to WHO (Geneva) as of April 2019”).

[Below are extracts from the communication]

15 APRIL 2019, GENEVA - Measles cases have continued to climb into 2019. Preliminary global data shows that reported cases rose by 300 percent in the first three months of 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. This follows consecutive increases over the past two years.

[...]

As of this time last year, there were 28,124 measles cases from 163 countries. Globally this is almost a 300% increase. The WHO African region has recorded a 700% increase, the Region of the Americas 60%, the European region 300%, the Eastern Mediterranean 100%, with 40% increases in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific. Global estimates (for total cases and deaths) are generated once WHO has received and reviewed all country data for the previous year. For official data from 1980-2017, please visit our website.

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Comment (NPW): Meanwhile anti-vaxxers continue to spread misinformation worldwide via the internet and social media. On a positive note we heard on HIFA last month that 'Anti-vaxxers appear to be losing ground in the online debate' http://www.hifa.org/dgroups-rss/anti-vaxxers-appear-be-losing-ground-onl... - but note that this analysis focused on the US population. It may take much longer for the debate to shift, and for the damage of misinformation to be undone, in other parts of the world.

Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, HIFA Project on Information for Citizens, Parents and Children:

http://www.hifa.org/projects/citizens-parents-and-children

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org