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WHO Urges Mass Vaccination Against Measles, Other Diseases in Ebola Areas

The logo of the World Health Organization is seen at the WHO headquarters in Geneva (AP Photo)
The logo of the World Health Organization is seen at the WHO headquarters in Geneva (AP Photo)

 

(Reuters) – The World Health Organization warned on Friday of a risk of outbreaks of measles, whooping cough and other diseases in West African countries hit by Ebola and urged a rapid intensification of routine immunizations.

The Ebola epidemic has killed more than 10,200 people, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and has reduced vaccination coverage as health clinics and healthcare workers focused on fighting the unprecedented outbreak.

In recent months, Ebola has started to wane with the number of cases falling significantly, though a spike in Guinea this week has also highlighted the risk of complacency.

The epidemic has disrupted delivery of routine childhood vaccines against measles, polio and tuberculosis, and of a combined shot against meningitis, pneumonia, whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis B and diphtheria.

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