Measles cases triple globally: WHO

Measles cases nearly tripled globally during the first seven months of the year compared to the same period in 2018, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday, amid growing concern over public resistance to the vaccine.

So far, 364,808 measles cases were reported around the world, compared to 129,239 cases during the first seven months a year earlier.

These numbers are "the highest (registered) since 2006," WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told reporters in Geneva.

The numbers are especially worrying since only about one in 10 actual measles cases are believed to be reported worldwide, according to WHO.

Measles, which is highly contagious, can be entirely prevented through a two-dose vaccine, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has in recent months sounded the alarm over slipping vaccination rates.

Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar and Ukraine registered the highest number of cases, WHO said.

In Madagascar, which registered around 127,500 cases during the first half of this year alone, numbers have meanwhile dropped considerably in recent months following an emergency national vaccination campaign, the UN health agency stressed.

Measles cases have soared worldwide, with the African region seeing a 900-percent jump in cases year-on-year, while cases rose 230 percent in the western Pacific.

Angola, Cameroon, Chad, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sudan, South Sudan and Thailand have all seen major outbreaks of the disease.

(Agencies)