Japan faces the worst measles outbreak within a decade of WHO World Health Organization warnings that global efforts to prevent the spread of the disease fail, partly because of skepticism about the vaccine.
More than 170 new cases have been reported in Japan since the beginning of the year, according to NHK, affecting people in 20 of the 47 provinces of the country.
The number of new cases during this period is the highest in 10 years, with 49 registered in the province of Mie, followed by Osaka with 47, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases of NIED said.
More than half of the cases in Mie included members of the religious group, Kyusey Shinkio, who attended a seminar late last year. The group believes drugs are "harmful" and recommends purifying the body and the spirit. Later the group apologized to his website and said he was cooperating with health authorities.
The Japanese Ministry of Health has urged people to vaccinate immediately and to take preventive measures in hospitals and other medical institutions.
Mordilli is a highly contagious disease, which can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia. In some cases, it can be fatal and remains a major cause of death among young children. The disease can easily be prevented with two doses of a safe and effective vaccine that has been used since the 1960s, he said.
Early in February, the WHO indicated skepticism about vaccine, conflict and scarce access to health care in some regions for a 50% increase in world measles by 2018, including developed countries where vaccine coverage is historically high.
"Our data shows that there is a significant increase in measles cases, and we see this in all regions," said Katherine O'Brien, director of the United Nations Agency for Immunization, Vaccines and Biology, to reporters in Geneva. "We are experiencing outbreaks that are protracted, sharp and growing. This is not an isolated problem.
Experts explain the increase in cases in developed countries in part of complacency and unjustified claims related to measles vaccine against autism.
Source: The Guardian