Humanitarian Health Action

Communicable diseases and crises


WHO Guidelines for Epidemic Preparedness and Response to Measles Outbreaks

Measles ranks as one of the leading causes of childhood mortality in the world. Before measles vaccine became available, virtually all individuals contracted measles with an estimated 130 million cases each year. Humans are the only natural host. Measles is a highly communicable infection. Despite the remarkable progress made in measles control with the introduction of measles vaccination, it is estimated that in 1997 nearly one million deaths from measles still occurred, half of them in Africa. Outbreaks of measles continue to occur even in highly vaccinated populations.