Measles in the Western Pacific Region: progress towards elimination, 2009 – 2012

The Western Pacific Region’s success in measles incidence reaching a historic low, decreasing by 83% from 34.0 to 5.9 cases per million population, is the highlight of a new progress report published in WHO’s Weekly Epidemiological Record and the CDC’s Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report.

The report also states that additional efforts are needed to strengthen routine immunization services in countries and areas with MCV1 or MCV2 coverage <95%, to introduce a MCV2 dose in the four remaining countries and areas that do not yet have a routine 2-dose MCV schedule, and to close immunity gaps among measles-susceptible populations in countries and areas that have ongoing measles virus transmission through SIAs.

From 2009 to 2012, confirmed measles cases decreased 84%, from 54,291 to 8,524, and confirmed measles incidence per million population decreased 83%, from 34.0 to 5.9. In 2012, the highest confirmed measles incidence was reported from Malaysia (63.7 per million), the Philippines (15.9 per million), and New Zealand (12.3 per million). The highest number of confirmed cases was reported from China and decreased 88%, from 52,461 in 2009 to 6,183 in 2012.

In 2012, the WPR Regional Committee reaffirmed its commitment to eliminate measles and urged Member States to interrupt all residual endemic measles virus transmission as rapidly as possible.

For the full report, see WHO’s Weekly Epidemiological Record and on the CDC’s Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report.

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