An 18-month-old boy from Berlin has died following a measles infection, prompting Germany to promise measures to improve vaccine uptake.
Reports say the boy was not vaccinated against the disease which has been spreading in Germany in recent months. More than 500 cases have been recorded in Berlin since October.
Several European countries continue to battle outbreaks of the disease as Europe’s 2015 measles elimination target looks unlikely to be met. More than 150 cases have also been reported in the US following an outbreak traced back to a Disneyland holiday resort.
The toddler in Germany joins a tragic list of people to die from a vaccine-preventable disease in European countries where vaccines are safe, effective and free.
Last year 18-year-old Max Schoenboem from Germany died from SSPE, a condition that resulted from a measles infection he picked up just six months into his young life. Read Max’s father’s account of the impact measles had on their lives here.
Adolescents and young adults are vulnerable too. During an outbreak in the Netherlands in 2014 a 17-year-old girl died after a measles infection.
Nobody should die from measles. Not today. Not in Germany. Not anywhere.
Check the vaccine schedule in your country or ask your doctor about catch-up programmes