By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

UN health officials are reporting a dramatic decrease in measles cases in 2019, prompting officials to say the outbreak has been controlled. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reports:

Image/Robert Herriman

Between the onset of the outbreak in July 2017 and 2019, the country reported 7,054 confirmed cases and 84 deaths. In 2018, there were 5,779 new cases and 75 deaths. By 2019, this number had dropped by 91% to 548 new cases and three deaths. A little over 62% of cases were children under age 5.

Officials say the decline in cases is due to a series of actions to include a country-wide vaccination campaign that reached almost nine million children between the ages of 6 months and 15 years.

The response plan to control the outbreak included active participation at all levels of the Venezuelan health system, mobilizing between 19,000 and 31,000 vaccinators per month in all states in the country, deploying over 50 international and national experts from PAHO, printing educational materials on the symptoms of measles, purchasing laboratory supplies, renting 60 vehicles and boats to mobilize vaccination brigades throughout the year, and procuring vaccines against measles, as well as other supplies.