Millions of children around the world have not been vaccinated against measles in the midst of an increase in online & # 39; antivaxx & # 39; fear stories.
A wave of measles outbreaks around the world is being fueled by falling vaccination rates, the charity that Unicef has warned.
Around 527,000 children in the UK did not receive the potentially life-saving jab between 2010 and 2017, with & # 39; fake news & # 39; that is partly distributed on social media, partly.
The UK is third in a world ranking and shows the number of unvaccinated children in high income countries.
The US topped the charts, with 2,593,000 young people not receiving their first measles dose over the eight-year period.
Around 527,000 children in the UK did not receive the potentially life-saving jab between 2010 and 2017, with & # 39; fake news & # 39; that is partly distributed on social media, partly. The UK is third in a world ranking and shows the number of unvaccinated children in high income countries
Simon Stevens, the head of the NHS in England, said: “With measles cases nearly quadrupled in England in just one year, it is grossly irresponsible for anyone to spread scare stories about vaccines.
& # 39; And social media companies must have a zero tolerance approach to this dangerous content. & # 39;
Mr. Stevens described vaccine rejection as a & # 39; growing timeline for public & # 39 ;, and warned parents that it is essential that their children be vaccinated against measles.
An estimated 169 million children around the world missed the first dose of measles vaccine between 2010 and 2017 – an average of 21.1 million a year.
The antivaxx movement has seen the US hit in the first three months of this year with more measles cases than in the whole of 2018.
About 626 cases have been registered in the US in the last four months alone – almost exceeded 667 registered in 2014.
Half a million children in the UK are not vaccinated against measles with an increase in online & # 39; antivaxx & # 39; -scare stories (stock image)
France came in second in the Unicef ranking, with 608,000 unvaccinated children, followed by the UK.
Experts believe that 95 percent of children must be vaccinated to protect the entire population through & # 39; herd immunity & # 39 ;.
But uptake in the UK fell to 87 percent last year.
The number of measles cases in England has more than tripled from 259 in 2017 to 966 last year.
WHAT ARE MAKE?
Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that easily spreads from an infected person through coughing, sneezing or even just breathing.
Symptoms develop between six and 19 days after infection and include a runny nose, cough, sore eyes, fever, and rash.
The rash appears as red and spotty spots on the hairline that go down over several days, turn brown and eventually fade.
Some children complain about bright lights or develop white spots with red background on their tongue.
In one in 15 cases, measles can cause life-threatening complications, including pneumonia, convulsions and encephalitis.
Dr. Ava Easton, chief executive of the Encephalitis Society, told MailOnline: Measles can be very serious.
& # 39;[It] can cause encephalitis, which is an inflammation of the brain.
& # 39; Encephalitis can cause death or disability. & # 39;
Treatment is aimed, if necessary, to stay hydrated, to rest and to take painkillers.
Measles can be prevented by receiving two vaccinations, the first at 13 months old and the second at three years and four months to five years old.
Source: Great Ormond Street Hospital
More than 110,000 measles cases were reported worldwide in the first three months of 2019 – nearly 300 percent more than in the same period a year earlier.
And an estimated 110,000 people, mostly children, died of measles in 2017, an increase of 22 percent over the previous year.
Unicef said the figures related to & # 39; lack of access, poor healthcare, complacency and in some cases fear or skepticism about vaccines & # 39 ;.
The director of the charity organization Henrietta Fore said: “The measles virus will always find unvaccinated children.
& # 39; If we want to take it seriously to prevent the spread of this dangerous but preventable disease, we must vaccinate every child, both in rich and poor countries. & # 39;
Two doses of MMR vaccine are required to ensure complete protection.
Figures from October to December 2018 show that nine out of ten children received their first dose at the age of two and rose to 95 percent at the age of five.
At the age of five, 87 percent had their second dose, the quarterly figures showed.
Mary Ramsay, head of vaccinations in England, said: “The UK achieved the WHO measles elimination status in 2017, reducing the overall risk of measles for the British population.
& # 39; But as a result of the ongoing outbreaks of measles in Europe, we will continue to see cases, especially among non-immunized individuals. & # 39;
Skepticism about the MMR jab arose in 1998 when London physician Andrew Wakefield published a paper linking MMR to autism.
Dr. Wakefield, now model Elle McPherson, was later discredited and demolished as a doctor, but the damage was sustained.
The intake of the MMR vaccine fell from more than 90 percent to less than 80 within a few years – and in some areas as many as 65 percent of children had the shot.
The number of measles cases rose sharply.
IS ANDREW WAKEFIELD'S DISTINCTIVE AUTISM RESEARCH TO CONSIDER FOR LOW VACCINATION PERCENTAGES?
Andrew Wakefield's discredited autism study has long been blamed for a fall in measles vaccination coverage
In 1995, gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield published a study in The Lancet with children who were vaccinated against MMR were more likely to have bowel diseases and autism.
He speculated that injected with a & # 39; dead & # 39; form of the measles virus through vaccination causes disruption of the intestinal tissue, leading to both disorders.
After a 1998 study further confirmed this finding, Wakefield said: & # 39; The risk of this specific syndrome [what Wakefield termed ‘autistic enterocolitis’] development is related to the combined vaccine, the BMR, rather than the single vaccines. & # 39;
Wakefield at that time had a patent for measles, mumps and rubella vaccines and was therefore accused of a conflict of interest.
Nevertheless, the BMR vaccination rates in the United States and the UK plummeted, until in 2004 the editor of The Lancet Dr. Richard Horton's Wakefield investigation as & # 39; fundamentally flawed & # 39; and added that he was paid for by a group that was taking lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers.
The Lancet formally withdrew Wakefield's research paper in 2010.
Three months later, the General Medical Council banned Wakefield from practicing medicine in Britain, and stated that his research was a & # 39; heartless contempt & # 39; for the health of children.
On January 6, 2011, The British Medical Journal published a report showing that out of the 12 children included in Wakefield & # 39; s 1995 study, there were at most two autistic symptoms after vaccination, rather than the eight he claimed.
At least two of the children also had developmental delay before being vaccinated, but according to the Wakefield newspaper they were all & # 39; previously normal & # 39 ;.
Further findings revealed that none of the children had autism, non-specific colitis or symptoms within a few days of receiving the BMR vaccine, but according to the study, six of the participants included all three.