WHO: Measles Deaths Have Plummeted Over A Decade

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

LONDON (AP) -- The World Health Organization says the number of measles deaths dropped by about 75 percent over a decade.
The study, in today's journal Lancet, says most of the deaths were in India and Africa, where not enough children are being immunized.
Health officials say from 2000 to 2010 about 9.6 million children were saved from dying of measles thanks to big vaccination campaigns that began more than a decade ago.
Researchers guess that the number of deaths fell during that time period from more than 535,000 to a little more than 139,000.
WHO measles expert Peter Strebel calls the drop a huge success. He says, "You don't reduce measles deaths by three quarters without significantly accelerating efforts."
But scientists only have solid data for 65 countries. For the 128 others, they used modeling to come up with their estimates.
And despite the major dent, the WHO did not meet its goal to reduce measles deaths by 90 percent by 2010.

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