Because there has not been enough vaccination against measles for years, the number of illnesses and deaths increased last year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

It assumes 136,000 deaths worldwide, 43 percent more than in the previous year, and around nine million cases (plus 18 percent), as it reported in Geneva. Last year, 37 countries experienced major outbreaks, compared to 22 the year before.

Measles is a very contagious viral infectious disease. It is transmitted through droplets, for example when infected people cough or sneeze. Infected people usually first have fever, cough, runny nose and inflammation in the nasopharynx, followed by a rash. One in ten people affected have complications, including life-threatening brain inflammation. Measles can be prevented with two doses of the vaccine.

Around 83 percent of people worldwide have received a first dose of vaccination in their lifetime, and 74 percent have received a second dose. According to the WHO, 95 percent of people would have to be vaccinated in order to prevent major outbreaks. The corona pandemic has interrupted vaccination programs in many countries. It is alarming that even after the pandemic there is still no comprehensive vaccination there. Countries in Africa are particularly affected, but also India, Indonesia and Brazil. According to the WHO, vaccinations have saved more than 56 million lives since 2000.

The US health authority CDC was also involved in the report.