EACH YEAR, MORE THAN 20 MILLION PEOPLE SUFFER FROM MEASLES.
Measles is a viral disease that is spread by droplets of infected saliva in suspension in the air (sneezing, coughing). Measles is one of the most contagious diseases: it is estimated that one sick person could contaminate up to 18 other people (compared with 10 for mumps and 2 for Ebola).
This pathology represents a major danger, especially among children under five years of age.
The mortality associated with this disease has declined sharply over the past 30 years (89,780 deaths in 2016, while there were 733,000 in 2000 and 2.5 million in 1980), but the objective set by the WHO in 2000 to reduce the number of deaths by 95% by 2015 has not been reached.
Measles is still common in many developing countries. More than 20 million people suffer from it each year. Death from measles occurs in countries where the per capita income is low and the health infrastructure is fragile.
The best way to reduce mortality linked to measles is still therefore to strengthen prevention. The WHO advocates the vaccination of children with two injections. A vaccine has existed for 30 years. It is effective for approximately 85% of vaccinated children and confers a protection of several decades.