Amid Spike In Measles Cases, Health Officials Warn Of 'Losing Decades Of Progress'
If you take the long view, international health organizations have much to be encouraged about when it comes to the global fight against measles. From 2000 to 2017, for instance, the annual number of measles-related deaths dropped 80 percent — from a toll of over half a million to just under 110,000 last year.
But lurking inside those statistics, published Thursday by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are some far less rosy numbers. Specifically, what's been going on recently.
The report found that cases of the highly contagious disease spiked by more than 30 percent from 2016 to 2017. The WHO and CDC say there were 173,330 officially reported cases worldwide last year alone — though they believe that those numbers represent just a fraction of the actual number.