By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The world’s largest measles outbreak has hit a couple of grim milestones, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

DRC (orange)
Image/P. S. Burton

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has reported 203,179 cases of measles from all 26 provinces of the country, including 4,096 deaths.

UNICEF says children under the age of five represent 74 percent of infections and nearly 90 per cent of deaths.

The number of measles cases in DRC this year is more than triple the number recorded for all of 2018. The measles outbreak in DRC has become a far deadlier than Ebola, which to date, has taken 2,143 lives.

“We’re facing this alarming situation because millions of Congolese children miss out on routine immunization and lack access to health care when they fall sick,” said UNICEF Representative in the DRC, Edouard Beigbeder. “On top of that, a weak health system, insecurity, community mistrust of vaccines and vaccinators and logistical challenges all contribute to a huge number of unvaccinated children at risk of contracting the disease.”

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