The Americas has been completely freed of a deadly disease thanks to a huge reversal.
The Americas, which includes North, South and Central, has been completely freed from the grips of an extremely nasty disease that can sometimes prove fatal. The Americas are the first region of the world to have been declared free of endemic measles, said global health authorities this week.
Endemic measles was last reported in the Americas back in 2002, and can result in blindness, pneumonia and even death. The Pan American Health Organization said in a statement that it was difficult to determine this to be the case because of poor communication between countries in the Americas, and therefore they didn’t make the declaration until now.
Fortunately, the measles outbreak reported at Disneyland in 2014 was from outside the United States, scientists were able to determine by tracking viral sources. But experts warn that a growing anti-vaccination movement could risk seeing diseases like this continue to spread.
The PAHO statement reads: “The Region of the Americas is the first in the world to have eliminated measles, a viral disease that can cause severe health problems, including pneumonia, blindness, brain swelling and even death. This achievement culminates a 22-year effort involving mass vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella throughout the Americas. The declaration of measles’ elimination was made by the International Expert Committee for Documenting and Verifying Measles, Rubella, and Congenital Rubella Syndrome Elimination in the Americas. The announcement came during the 55th Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), which is currently underway and is being attended by ministers of Health from throughout the Americas.”