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Measles cases rose nearly four-fold in first quarter 2019: WHO

An illustration provides a 3D graphical representation of a spherical-shaped, measles virus particle studded with glycoprotein tubercles in this handout image obtained by Reuters April 9, 2019. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

GENEVA (Reuters) – The number of measles cases worldwide nearly quadrupled in the first quarter of 2019 to 112,163 against the same period last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday, citing provisional data.

Higher rates of the preventable but highly contagious disease, which can kill a child or leave it disabled for life, have been recorded in all regions, the United Nations agency said in a statement, appealing for better vaccination coverage.

“Over recent months, spikes in case numbers have also occurred in countries with high overall vaccination coverage, including the United States…as well as Israel, Thailand, and Tunisia, as the disease has spread fast among clusters of unvaccinated people,” the WHO said in a report.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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