Americas Becomes World’s First Region To Eliminate Measles, PAHO/WHO Declare

Agence France-Presse: WHO declares Americas world’s first measles-free region
“Measles has been [eliminated] from the Americas after decades of vaccination efforts, the world’s first region to rid itself of the highly contagious disease, global health authorities said Tuesday…” (Sheridan, 9/27).

The Atlantic: The Measles-Free Americas
“…The news came during a meeting of World Health Organization ministers from throughout the Americas. It makes the fifth vaccine-preventable disease the region has eliminated, including smallpox and rubella. Measles, a particularly deadly disease, can cause brain swelling, blindness, and pneumonia…” (Phippen, 9/27).

CIDRAP News: Americas region first to achieve measles elimination
“…At a media briefing, Carissa Etienne, MD, PAHO director, said, ‘This is proof of the remarkable success that can be achieved when countries work together steadfastly for common goals’…” (Schnirring, 9/27).

NBC News: Measles Has Been Eliminated in the Americas, WHO Says
“… It’s the first time the highly contagious virus has been eliminated in an entire region, although it has been eliminated in individual countries, such as the United States. It was sustained vaccination campaigns that got the job done, WHO said…” (Fox, 9/27).

New York Times: Americas Region Declared Free of Endemic Measles
“…The hemisphere’s last case of endemic measles — meaning one that did not spring from an imported strain — was in 2002. Normally, it takes three years without cases to declare a disease [eliminated] from a region, but in this instance it took 14 years…” (McNeil, 9/27).

U.N. Dispatch: This deadly, child killing disease has just been eradicated from an entire hemisphere
“…According to the World Health Organization, before mass vaccination was initiated in 1980, measles caused nearly 2.6 million annual deaths worldwide. In the Americas, 101,800 deaths were attributable to measles between 1971 and 1979. Still, measles killed some 115,000 children worldwide last year…” (Shaikh, 9/27).

VOA News: The Americas Becomes First Region of World to Eliminate Measles
“…The goal now, said officials, is to maintain the gains through the widespread vaccination of youngsters beginning at the age of one, and making sure they get a booster shot at 18 months…” (Berman, 9/27).