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2001 to 2010 Saw 74 Percent Drop in Global Measles Mortality

Fell short of WHO goal of 90 percent cut; 47 percent of measles mortality in 2010 was in India

TUESDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- From 2001 to 2010, there was a 74 percent decrease in estimated global measles mortality, with mortality in India and the World Health Organization (WHO) African region accounting for most of the estimated cases in 2010, according to a study published online April 24 in The Lancet.

To estimate progress made toward the 2010 WHO goal of a 90 percent reduction from the year 2000 measles mortality levels, Emily Simons, M.P.H., from the Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals at the WHO in Geneva, and colleagues constructed a state-space model to estimate national measles cases per annum. In each age-country class, deaths were estimated by applying age-specific and country-specific case-fatality ratios to estimated cases.

The researchers found that there was a 74 percent decrease in the estimated global measles mortality, from 535,300 deaths in 2000 to 139,300 in 2010. In all WHO regions, except the WHO southeast Asia region, measles mortality was reduced by more than 75 percent. In 2010, India accounted for 47 percent of all estimated measles mortality, and 36 percent was accounted for by the WHO African region.

"Despite rapid progress in measles control from 2000 to 2007, delayed implementation of accelerated disease control in India and continued outbreaks in Africa stalled momentum towards the 2010 global measles mortality reduction goal," the authors write. "Intensified control measures and renewed political and financial commitment are needed to achieve mortality reduction targets and lay the foundation for future global eradication of measles."

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