Europe has been under threat from a surge in measles cases over the last few years, as people reject vital vaccinations. Countries such as Italy, Thailand and Ukraine have all been having notable outbreaks, which have been threatening global advancement. Ukraine has seen a total of 44,386 cases, which directly threatens other nearby countries, and could carry cases over to the UK via international airports. A recent report issued by the Centre for Disease Control in the US has shown anti-vaccination efforts scuppered chances for health authorities to eradicate the disease.
Measles related deaths worldwide from 2000-2017 have fallen drastically, down a huge 80 percent.
The news lead many to hope the disease was in range of eradication, meaning herd immunity would make it near-impossible for the virus to advance through the human population.
This was only possible via vaccination, as the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine comes with a huge 95 percent efficacy.
With application, the vaccine was the best chance for aiding measles prevention, however case surges within one year have been caused by people rejecting it.
In total, measles cases from 2016 to 2017 rose by 30 percent, with estimations pointing towards 6.7 million fresh cases.
Health officials have been warning the rise in cases and increase in anti-vaccination sentiment risks scuppering decades of scientific progress.
The World Health Organisation is among bodies where officials have identified vaccine rejection as a primary cause of increased cases.
They said: “We risk losing decades of progress in protecting children and communities against this devastating, but entirely preventable disease."
The Centre for Disease Control released findings recently which showed 2015 targets have not been reached, and vaccination coverage has been stagnating.
READ MORE: Should your child be given the MMR vaccine?
The report said: ”Despite this progress, however, the 2015 global milestones have not been achieved.
“Global first dose vaccination coverage has stagnated for nearly a decade.
“Global second dose coverage is only at 67% despite steady increases; and supplementary immunisation activities quality was inadequate to achieve more than 95 percent coverage in several countries.
“Since 2016, measles incidence has increased globally and in five of the six WHO regions.
“Furthermore, as of July 2018, endemic measles has been reestablished in Venezuela because of the sustained transmission of measles virus for more than 12 months; the remaining 34 AMR [North/South America] countries continue to maintain their measles elimination status.
“But the ongoing outbreak in Venezuela has led to measles virus importations and outbreaks in bordering AMR countries.
“In addition, the measles resurgence in Europe has likely led to reestablished endemic measles in some EUR countries.
“These outbreaks highlight the fragility of gains made toward global and regional measles elimination goals."
READ MORE: Is the MMR vaccine safe?
Do vaccines cause autism?
The NHS has been steadfast against any claims of links between the MMR vaccine and long-term health defects.
The original study, conducted by doctor Andrew Wakefield, was published in 1998 for the Lancet, claiming causation links between bowel disease and autism.
His work has since been completely disproven and discredited, and Mr Wakefield is no longer a doctor in the UK.
Over the past decade since his claims, numerous studies have been conducted which continue to disprove these assertions.