Measles cases increase by 79% after COVID-19 and lockdowns

The WHO and UNICEF said it was imperative to get the vaccination drives back on track.

According to data from UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), measles infections increased by 79 % in the first two months of this year compared to 2021, when COVID-19 and lockdowns disrupted child vaccination campaigns around the world. There were 17,338 measles cases reported worldwide in January and February, up from 9,665 in the same period previous year. Measles is a highly contagious disease that is especially harmful for infants and young children. This infection spreads faster than Ebola, influenza, or COVID-19. In the aftermath of the pandemic, UNICEF executive director Catherine Russell called the vaccination gaps paired with a return to social mixing as a "perfect storm."

"Measles is more than a dangerous and potentially deadly disease. It is also an early indication that there are gaps in our global immunization coverage, gaps vulnerable children cannot afford." Somalia, Liberia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and the Ivory Coast had the five greatest measles outbreaks in the recent 12 months. During that time, there have been 21 major epidemics. During the COVID-19 pandemic, child immunization programmes were thrown off track all throughout the world, and things have not entirely recovered. Campaigns to prevent diseases like typhoid and polio were also halted. Malawi reported its first incidence of polio in decades last month, while Pakistan, one of only two nations where the disease is still prevalent, reported its first case in almost a year this month.