Measles Rates Have Risen 30 Percent In Two Years (And You’d Never Guess Why)

Tonight, you can rest safe in the knowledge that neither you nor a loved will suffer demise, severe scarring, or blindness as a result of the smallpox virus. And you can count polio, rubella, and tetanus as some of the other illness eradicated or nearly eradicated in the US and big parts of the world.

For all this, we can thank Edward Jenner– the discoverer of the first successful vaccine.

But, at least in this respect, it looks like progress is stalling. According to the latest figures reported by World Health Organization( WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention( CDC ), measles lawsuits are spiking globally and, unlike Marlon Brando’s turn in The Godfather , this is not a comeback we want to see.

Falling vaccination rates are the reason given for the worrying rise in the number of cases reported in the last two years. The Western pacific is the only part of the world that appears to have bucked the trend and actually demonstrate a decline in incidents. Meanwhile, the Americas, Eastern Mediterranean Region, and Europe have find the largest increases.

In total, such reports detects global incidence of the disease has increased by more than 30 percentage from 2016.

“The resurgence of measles is of serious concern, with widened outbreaks resulting across regions, and particularly in countries that had achieved, or were close to achieving measles elimination, ” Soumya Swaminathan, the deputy director general for Programmes at WHO, said in a statement. “Without urgent efforts to increase vaccination coverage and identify populations with unacceptable levels of under-, or unimmunized children, we risk losing decades of progress in protecting children and communities against this devastating, but altogether preventable disease.”

Those tempted to skip vaccination day might want to remember that between 2000 and 2017, the number of measles suits fell dramatically( by 83 percent ), saving an estimated 21.1 million lives. In contrast, “gaps in vaccination coverage” has caused 110,000( unnecessary) deaths and caused far better to have to experience an unpleasant and potentially debilitating illness, which can leave patients deaf or with an intellectual disability.

To attain herd immunity, medical professionals recommend a vaccination coverage of 95 percent. If 95 percent of the population had their two doses of the safe and effective measles vaccine( or MMR ), the remaining 5 percentage who may not be suitable for the vaccination due to health reasons, such as a life-threatening allergy or weakened immune system, would also be protected from the disease. Of course, this 95 percent has to be consistent- it doesn’t work if 100 percent of people are vaccinated in one region and merely 90 percent are vaccinated in another.

As things currently stand, global coverage fell short. Coverage of the( entirely safe) first dosage of the inoculation is 85 percent and coverage of the( also very safe) second dose is 67 percent.

“Complacency about the disease and the spread of falsities about the inoculation in Europe, a collapsing health system in Venezuela and pockets of fragility and low immunization coverage in Africa are blending brought together a global resurgence of measles after years of progress, ” Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, said in a statement.

“Existing strategies need to change: more effort needs to go into increasing routine immunization coverage and strengthening health systems. Otherwise we will continue chasing one outbreak after another.”

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Trump says Venezuela ‘could be toppled very quickly’ by military coup

Comments come after White House slaps financial sanctions on Nicols Maduros inner circle over corruption allegations

Donald Trump has suggested that Venezuela’s leader Nicolás Maduro could be easily toppled by a military coup as the US stepped up financial pressure with fresh sanctions on Maduro’s inner circle.

Trump declined to respond to questions about whether a US-led military intervention in the crisis-stricken country was possible, but on the sidelines of the UN general assembly he said: “It’s a regime that, frankly, could be toppled very quickly by the military if the military decides to do that.

“It’s a truly bad place in the world today.”

His comments came after the US slapped financial sanctions on Maduro’s wife, vice-president and other senior Venezuelan figures.

As part of the actions, the US barred Americans from doing business with and will seize any financial assets in the US belonging to the first lady, Cilia Flores, Vice-President Delcy Rodríguez, the communications minister, Jorge Rodríguez, and defence minister, Vladimir Padrino.

“We are continuing to designate loyalists who enable Maduro to solidify his hold on the military and the government while the Venezuelan people suffer,” the treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said in a statement. “Treasury will continue to impose a financial toll on those responsible for Venezuela’s tragic decline, and the networks and frontmen they use to mask their illicit wealth.”

During his speech at the United Nations general assembly, the US president singled out Venezuela for criticism, saying: “Not long ago, Venezuela was one of the richest countries on Earth. Today, socialism has bankrupted the oil-rich nation and driven its people into abject poverty …

“We ask the nations gathered here to join us in calling for the restoration of democracy in Venezuela.”

Over the past two years the Trump administration has sanctioned dozens of individuals, including Maduro himself, on allegations of corruption, drug trafficking and human rights abuses.

But until now it had spared key leaders such as Delcy Rodríguez, as well as the US-trained Padrino, believing they occupy seats of power and could play a key role in an eventual transition.

David Smilde, a Tulane University professor who has spent more than two decades living and working in Venezuela, said Tuesday’s actions would seem to suggest the US has given up trying to sow division within the government in the hopes it could force a democratic transition from within.

“This clearly breaks from that strategy,” said Smilde. “If everyone is sanctioned then it could end up uniting the government.”

Trump, arriving at the United Nations general assembly before his speech Tuesday, said Venezuela is “a very sad case and we want to see it fixed. What’s happening there is a human tragedy.”

But beyond rallying Maduro’s opponents, it is unclear what impact the sanctions will have.

For more than a year, top US officials have struggled to build support for more sweeping oil sanctions, facing resistance from energy companies still active in the country and fearing it could tip the Opec nation over the edge at a time of hyperinflation and widespread food and medicine shortages.

As part of the actions announced on Tuesday, the US Department of the Treasury also seized a $20m private jet belonging to an alleged frontman for powerful socialist party boss Diosdado Cabello.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

UN General Assembly shames itself again with this list of 2018’s condemnations

Another year has passed with the United States somehow still funding the United Nations and giving it a headquarters, so that it can continually prove itself to be utterly useless.

Hillel Neuer, executive director of United Nations Watch, compiled a list of the times member countries were condemned by the United Nations, and it’s no surprise who came out on top by a wide margin:

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