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Swiss measles outbreak concerns health experts

Girl with measles
Measles can be a life threatening condition Keystone

Measles is on the rise in Switzerland with 87 cases of the infectious disease registered so far in 2024. This compares to just 23 cases throughout last year and zero occurrences in 2022 and 2021.

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Since June 2023, there have been 103 cases, according to the bulletin published by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) on Monday. In the same period last year, there were only 27.

The government did not expect a major epidemic because the high vaccination rate should prevent this. According to information from February, the vaccination rate for young children is 94%.

The FOPH assumes that the cases often involve people who were infected abroad or smaller outbreaks in which the pathogen was introduced into Switzerland.

With this increase, Switzerland is part of a global development. The World Health Organization (WHO) expects the number of measles infections to remain high in 2024. According to the latest data, the WHO registered around 94,000 cases up to April 2024.

In 2023, a good 320,000 people were proven to have been infected, an increase of almost 90% compared to the previous year.

According to WHO estimates, 136,000 people died of measles in 2022, mainly children under the age of five. The vast majority of cases do not appear in international statistics.

Measles is a life-threatening, viral infectious disease that can be prevented by vaccination.

Translated from German by DeepL/mga

This news story has been written and carefully fact-checked by an external editorial team. At SWI we select the most relevant news for an international audience and use automatic translation tools such as DeepL to translate it into English. Providing you with automatically translated news gives us the time to write more in-depth articles.

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