The region of the Americas will be the first in the world to be declared free of measles
After 22 years of tremendous work, the region of the Americas has been declared free of measles. The elimination of measles was verified over a six- year period by an International Committee of Experts convened by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The Committee will present its final report to the health ministers of member countries of PAHO, participating this week in the 55th meeting of its Directing Council.
Today, the declaration of measles elimination will be presented to the Director of PAHO, Carissa F. Etienne, in a plenary session. Upon completion of the session, a press conference will be held.
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Background: In 2002, the Americas region reported the last endemic case of measles. However, since measles continues to circulate worldwide, some countries continued to report imported cases. The International Committee of Experts for Documentation and Verification of Measles, Rubella and Congenital Rubella Syndrome Elimination in the Americas received evidence presented by all countries on the elimination of this disease between last year and August this year. The Region of the Americas will be the first in the world to obtain this status. It had been declared free of rubella and congenital rubella syndrome in 2015. Today, measles becomes the fifth vaccine-preventable disease to be eliminated in the Americas.