As per a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) study, Published in the British medical journal, The Lancet, on 23 April 2012, India accounted for about 47 percent of measles deaths in 2010, while Africa recorded 36 percent of deaths due to the same disease. The study revealed that the death rates from measles went down by 74 percent between 2000 and 2010, but it missed the WHO target of 90%.
The shortfall was largely attributed to deaths in India and Africa where the virus kills thousands a year. Africa and India two key regions of the world where a large number of cases related to Measles come into light significantly under performed which led the WHO to miss its target. The Americas and Europe accounted for less than 1 percent each of the Measles cases.
The WHO study described that even with 74 percent drop in cases of measles, it killed an estimated 139200 people across the world in 2010, down from just over 535000 in 2000.
What is Measles?
Measles is a viral disease and transmitted when an infected person breaths, coughs or sneezes. There is no specific treatment for it and a person’s natural immunity allows them to recover in 2-3 weeks. It can lead to severe complications in particulary indigent demographics like malnourished children and people with weak immunity and can cause serious complications including blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhoea, ear infections and pneumonia. The disease can be prevented by immunisation and experts say increasing vaccination rates to above 95 percent worldwide and keeping them up is the only way to eradicate measles.