Measles Keeps Rearing Its Ugly Head

Nearly twice as many cases were reported by mid-August as in all of 2019 – a quarter of which have resulted in hospitalization.

Travel is up, vaccinations are down, and the highly-infectious disease is gaining a serious foothold in Europe and elsewhere. New statistics now show that the measles epidemic is still well underway: As of mid-August, there have been 139 cases in Austria (nearly twice as in all of 2018) – of which 40 cases were in Styria, which saw just two cases last year. Every fourth patient had to be hospitalized.

“This is not a disease you can sit out at home,” said Andrea Grisold of Med Uni Wien, who is chairman the Austrian measles committee. “Many patients had to be taken in by hospitals because they were suffering from secondary diseases – some with serious complications.”

Earlier this year, we spoke with doctors and the health ministry about the public health threat of the disease. As specialists told us in May, the dangers of vaccination are wildly exaggerated and the consequences of measles routinely underestimated – not least measles’ habit of “erasing” the body’s immune response memory to other diseases.

(Picture by Dave Haygarth)

Naomi Hunt
Naomi Hunt is a managing editor at Metropole, with roots in the U.S. and Malaysia that have long been buried under Austrian soil. She previously served as a program manager at the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) and was a Senior Press Freedom Adviser at the International Press Institute (IPI).

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