31 new measles cases identified in Brooklyn: New York City Health Dept.

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Ukraine suffered the world's largest increase in the number of measles cases in 2018, some of them the result of the so-called "anti-vax" movement, the United Nations children's agency says.

Cases of measles are surging to alarmingly high levels around the globe, a new report from UNICEF warns.

The charity said that while countries with poor health infrastructure and civil strife are particularly vulnerable, there has also been an increase in the developed world.

"This is a wake-up call", said UNICEF's Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore in a statement Wednesday. "Just as the serious outbreaks we are seeing today took hold in 2018, lack of action today will have disastrous consequences for children tomorrow".

The Texas Observer notes that both measles and mumps are popping up again in Texas as well, with mumps cases reaching an all-time high in 2017 and several confirmed measles cases already in 2019.

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In 2018, the Philippines recorded 15,599 cases, up 548% from 2,407 in 2017. 2018 worldwide have registered more than 98 countries, more cases of measles than in the previous year, according to a report by the organization.

The new outbreak of the disease that is more contagious than influenza or tuberculosis in some countries is somewhat due to the unjustified claims that the measles vaccine is associated with autism. However, nine out of 10 unvaccinated people who are exposed to the virus will contract it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Measles travels through the air and can linger in an enclosed space for up to two hours. There were 372 cases in all of previous year. He added that the trend of measles increases is seen "pretty much across the globe".

"The vaccine is extremely effective and extremely safe", he says.

"I consider it really an irony that you have one of the most contagious viruses known to man, juxtaposed against one of the most effective vaccines that we have, and yet we don't do and have not done what could be done - namely, completely eliminate and eradicate this virus".

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The key message is that "no country or community is immune to this", Nandy said. More recently, before the modern measles vaccine was developed in 1963, more than 48,000 people were hospitalized-and around 500 people died-each year in the USA alone.

This week's hearing at Congress recognized that the remedy to the public health threat is to provide communities and parents with "real, science-based information" about the safety and importance of vaccinations.

The Philippines, Brazil and France along with seven other countries account for nearly two-thirds of the total increase, which UNICEF says is eroding progress already made in the fight against this curable and highly deadly disease.

Measles can lead to severe complications, such as pneumonia, encephalitis - swelling of the brain - and death.

Dr. Audrey K. Chun, an associate professor in the department of geriatrics and palliative medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said older adults are at a low risk for contracting measles.

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"Vaccines prevent people from coming down with illnesses that are very preventable, and they decrease the time people spend going to doctor's offices and hospitals".

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