Dec 30, 2022

Why Scientists Are Concerned About The Re-Emergence Of One Of The World’s Deadliest Diseases

I mean, I would assume that anyone would be concerned about a deadly disease finding its way back to the surface, but measles in particular is really causing concern.

One of the biggest reasons for this is that the world is seeing a sharp decline in child vaccination rates, and the timing couldn’t be worse.

In 2021, around 40 million kids missed at least one dose of their measles vaccine.

iStock 508757896 Why Scientists Are Concerned About The Re Emergence Of One Of The Worlds Deadliest Diseases

Image Credit: iStock

Scientists partially blame the pandemic, since the lockdown made it hard for people to get to the doctor. More issues include an overworked healthcare system, parents who are still trying to navigate a return to normal life, and the cultural phenomenon of “anti-vaxxing,” particularly int he United States.

Professor Matthew Ferrari explains why measles is a chief concern.

“Measles is one of the most contagious human viruses and can be quite serious if there aren’t sufficient resources to manage symptoms. In under-resourced settings, as many as 5 percent of children infected with measles could die, and the likelihood of severe outcomes is higher in younger kids.”

They’re less concerned about other diseases because they’re less contagious – some, like diphtheria, can be controlled by herd immunity even if vaccination rates drop.

iStock 1294489600 Why Scientists Are Concerned About The Re Emergence Of One Of The Worlds Deadliest Diseases

Image Credit: iStock

Not so with measles, as infected people typically infect around 15 others. That means, in layman’s terms, that an outbreak spreads like wildfire.

Experts estimate that around 9 million people were infected in 2021, which would results in around 128,000 deaths worldwide. They expect this number to rise until vaccination rates return to what they were in 2019.

“Most children – more than 80 percent – will be protected by the first dose, but those that are not have very little protection at all. The second dose is critical for catching up those kids that weren’t protected by the first dose.”

iStock 1400209649 Why Scientists Are Concerned About The Re Emergence Of One Of The Worlds Deadliest Diseases

Image Credit: iStock

Measles also disrupts the immune system, lowering resistance even to diseases a person has encountered before, which is more than a little concerning in a post-Covid world.

This information is relatively new, so we’re bound to learn more in the near future.

Hopefully before an outbreak of measles finds its way into too many kids.

twistedsifter on facebook Why Scientists Are Concerned About The Re Emergence Of One Of The Worlds Deadliest Diseases