"One consequence of the pandemic was reduced access to routine healthcare and
lower uptake of immunisations. As a result, in November 2022, the World Health
Organization declared measles to be an “imminent threat in every region of the
world”. They described how a record number of nearly 40 million children had
missed at least one measles vaccine dose in 2021.
Measles is a viral respiratory illness. Transmission is similar to COVID, with
the spread between people being driven by respiratory droplets and aerosols
(airborne transmission). The infection produces a rash and fever in mild cases.
But severe cases can include encephalitis (brain swelling), blindness and
pneumonia. There are approximately 9 million cases a year and 128,000 deaths.
The measles vaccine, which can be administered by itself or in combination with
other vaccinations such as mumps and rubella to make up the MMR immunisation,
is very effective. Most countries have a two-dose schedule, with the first jab
usually given at 12 months of age and the second dose when the child is four
The vaccine provides very high and long-lasting protection, and really is a
model example of the term “vaccine-preventable disease”. The two-dose schedule
gives about 99% protection against measles infection.
In developing countries where vaccine uptake is low, as many as one in ten who
get measles, die from it. In developed countries, deaths are overwhelmingly in
unvaccinated people at a rate of around one in 1,000 to 5,000 measles cases.
The potential for new outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in areas such
as conflict zones and among refugee populations is high. Problems such as
malnutrition greatly raise the risks of severe illness, and respiratory
infectious diseases are a huge concern for humanitarian groups supporting
vulnerable groups such as Ukrainian refugees."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics