Intended for healthcare professionals


Measles: 142 000 people died in 2018, mostly aged under 5

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 05 December 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6830
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

More than 142 000 people died from measles in 2018 around the world, and most deaths occurred in those under 5 years old, show figures from the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC).1

Although the latest estimates reported a worldwide surge in measles cases, almost half of all cases were accounted for by just five countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Madagascar, Somalia, and Ukraine.

WHO’s statistical modelling for 2018 estimated 9 769 400 measles cases and 142 300 related deaths, up from 7 585 900 cases and 124 000 deaths in 2017. However, those totals were far lower than in 2000, when an estimated 28 219 100 …

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