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Europe has seen a big surge in measles cases in 2017, which the World Health Organization says is a tragedy after a record low of 5,273 cases in 2016.

In its latest disease surveillance report for 2017, World Health Organization said declines in overall routine immunisation coverage and low coverage among some marginalised groups was the primary cause of the measles outbreak. This is compared to a record low of 5,273 cases the previous year. Vaccination rates in Romania declined nearly 20 percentage points in the last decade, from 96 percent in 2006 to 76 percent in 2016. Most of the American measles cases can be tracked back to people traveling overseas. Had MMR vaccination levels exceeded 95 per cent of the target population, measles may well have been eradicated by now. Anyone can develop measles, but it's more likely to affect young children, especially those who are poorly nourished. His controversial views have since been widely discredited.

Cases were highest in Romania, Italy and Ukraine, with 15 countries, including the United Kingdom, experiencing large outbreaks.

Romania, Italy and Ukraine reported the highest number of people affected, together accounting for over 70 percent of the entire number in Europe. These regions have experienced a decline in overall routine immunisation rates. As of the end of 2016, 42 of the 53 countries in the Region had interrupted endemic measles transmission.

Other states to be seriously affected were Greece with 967 cases, Germany with 927, and Belgium with 369.

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'This serves as an important reminder for parents to take up the offer of MMR vaccination for their children when offered at one year of age and as a pre-school booster at three years, four months of age'.

Measles is a disease caused by an extremely contagious virus.

Dr Valeria Herdea, president of a professional medical organisation in the country, told the website: "We still have in the media, gossip shows with different celebrities of dubious taste, who provide all kind of "magic methods" for child immunity, without vaccination, but who capture public attention much more than scientific information".

She said the best protection against measles is to be fully vaccinated with two doses of the measles, mumps and rubell (MMR) vaccine.

Studies have repeatedly refuted this claim, which were based on a paper by British former gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield.