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Israel goes to war with measles

By Jack Gold, World Israel News

Israel has launched a widespread operation to inoculate the population against measles after an outbreak in the country which claimed the life of one baby in Jerusalem.

After years of measles lying dormant, an outbreak has occurred in segments of the population that have refused  early-age inoculation. It has now spread to many areas of the country.

In Israel, several religious sects oppose vaccination, and the Health Ministry has stepped up a campaign to increase vaccination rates in unprotected communities in recent months.

For the first time in decades, the Ministry of Health has begun to inoculate adults from ages 14 to 61, as well as children.

Some 1,400 have contracted measles this year, as opposed to only 34 in 2017. Over 30,000 Israelis have been exposed in various ways to measles.

An expose by Israel Hayom uncovered a list of failures that have enabled the diseaseto return in full force.

Several lawmakers have called on the state to take action against those who refuse vaccination, as they pose a threat to society. Proposals include banning their entry to schools and other public places.

Measles is a highly contagious disease and one of the leading causes of death worldwide in young children, according to the World Health Organization. It is easily prevented with a vaccine.

However, the World Health Organization has reported tens of thousands of measles cases across Europe.

In Thailand, authorities are racing to contain a measles outbreak in the country’s southern provinces, where 14 deaths and more than 1,500 cases have been reported since September.

Officials blame the comeback of the disease in Thailand on low vaccination rates in the south caused by misconceptions among the Muslim population about the nature of the vaccine.

AP contributed to this report.