Measles is a highly contagious viral infection, which prior to the introduction of effective vaccines was a common experience of childhood, sometimes with fatal consequences. Unfortunately, even today not all children receive the vaccine despite its efficacy and availability. In May 2003, the World Health Assembly endorsed resolution WHA56.20 urging Member countries to achieve a goal to reduce global measles deaths by half by end of 2005 compared with the 1999 estimates. Based on results from surveillance data and a natural history model, overall, global measles mortality decreased 48% from an estimated 871,000 deaths in 1999 to an estimated 454,000 deaths in 2004. Many of the recommended World Health Organization (WHO) measles control strategies now in place had been developed and first used during the ...

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