Major measles outbreaks forecast for 2021 due to Covid-19: Study
PESHAWAR: Researchers have stressed that major measles outbreaks will likely occur in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic as early as 2021 due to many missed vaccinations. Measles is a highly contagious illness caused by a virus that replicates in the nose and throat of an infected child or adult. The study, published in the journal The Lancet, has called for urgent international action to prevent potentially devastating measles epidemics in the coming years, Medical Daily reported. "Many children have missed out on measles vaccination this year, making future measles outbreaks inevitable," said study lead author Kim Mulholland from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Australia and Chair of the World Health Organization's SAGE Working Group on measles and rubella vaccines. Mulholland said while 2020 had been a quiet year for measles, in part due to travel reductions and national Covid-19 control measures, the economic impacts would lead to many cases of childhood malnutrition. Malnutrition worsens the severity of measles, leading to poorer outcomes and more deaths, especially in low- and middle-income countries. "Children who die from measles are often malnourished, but acute measles pushes many surviving children into malnutrition," he said. "Malnutrition, along with measles-associated immune suppression, leads to delayed mortality, while co-existing vitamin A deficiency can also lead to measles-associated blindness," he warned. According to the researcher, the coming months are likely to see increasing numbers of unimmunised children who are susceptible to measles. - APP �@