The scale of the measles outbreak in Madagascar is of grave concern, as is its geographical spread-World Health Organization

In a follow-up on our coverage of the measles outbreak in Madagascar, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports from Sep. 3, 2018 to Feb. 5, 2019, a total of 53,459 measles cases were recorded (lab confirmed and epi-linked), including 312 deaths.

Detailed epidemiological investigations showed a much higher magnitude, including mortality, with the overall outbreak situation worsening since week 1 of 2019.

The bulk of the fatalities (84%) of the deaths occurred in children aged less than 9 months. A total of 7, 333 serious cases were hospitalized.

A total of 56% of registered cases are either not vaccinated or of unknown vaccination status. This has caused a loss of herd immunity across the country.

The importance of herd immunity in protecting the vulnerable: A look at a fatal measles case

To demonstrate the spread of the virus in Madagascar, three quarters of the health districts in the country are affected by the outbreak and six regions have 100% of districts in epidemic state.