Some Asian Nations Need to Do More to Combat Measles

Over 140,000 cases reported in 2008 in China and Japan

MONDAY, June 29 (HealthDay News) -- China and Japan must do more to combat measles if the World Health Organization's Western Pacific Region is to meet its target of regional measles elimination by 2012, according to an article published in the June 26 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The WHO's Regional Office of the Western Pacific in Manila, Philippines, reported on progress towards the 2012 goal of measles elimination, with the key strategies of vaccination coverage at or above 95 percent, high-quality measles surveillance, and access to an accredited measles laboratory for sample testing of suspected cases.

Although 24 of the 37 countries and areas in the Western Pacific Region have eliminated or nearly eliminated measles, several countries continue to report large case numbers, notably China and Japan. Between them, these two countries account for 82 percent of the region's population and over 97 percent of its confirmed measles cases.

"During 2008, a total of 131,441 confirmed measles cases were reported from China and 11,015 cases from Japan," the report states. "Intensified efforts by Western Pacific Region countries, particularly China and Japan, will be required to achieve the 2012 goal."

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