Higher Risk Of Measles Outbreak In Ebola-Hit West Africa Because Of Lower Vaccination Rates, Study Shows

News outlets report on a study published in Science examining the risk of measles or other childhood disease outbreaks because of reduced vaccination rates in West Africa as a result of the Ebola epidemic.

Al Jazeera America: Child measles deaths set to soar in Ebola-hit countries
“The Ebola outbreak that infected more than 24,000 people and killed more than 10,000 could lead to thousands more measles deaths among children due to the disruption of health care systems in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, according to a new study…” (Taylor, 3/12).

Mother Jones: Ebola’s Legacy: A Potentially Horrifying Measles Outbreak in West Africa
“…If measles strikes Liberia, Guinea, or Sierra Leone in the coming months, the infection rate would be likely almost double than before the Ebola outbreak, these researchers say…” (McLaughlin, 3/12).

Reuters: Measles cases seen almost doubling in Ebola epidemic countries
“…For every extra month that health care systems are disrupted, international researchers said up to 20,000 children aged between nine months and five years were put at risk…” (Kelland, 3/12).

USA TODAY: Measles outbreaks could follow Ebola in West Africa
“…With the region’s medical systems in shambles, deaths from other infectious diseases could equal or surpass those caused by Ebola, says Justin Lessler, coauthor of the paper in Science and an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore. Lessler and his colleagues base their predictions on mathematical models…” (Szabo, 3/12).

Vox: The hidden cost of Ebola: thousands of measles deaths
“…The researchers found that due to the health system disruptions over 18 months, there could be up to 100,000 additional measles cases and between 2,000 and 16,000 additional deaths. (The range comes from various levels of reduction in vaccination rates that they looked at, from 25 to 100 percent drops in coverage)…” (Belluz, 3/12).

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