25 Countries Where Measles Is a Serious Problem

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20. Spain
> Population: 46.3 million
> Cases in 2018: 206
> Cases in 2017: 149
> Cases in 2016: 38

Confirmed cases of measles jumped from 38 to 201 between 2016 and 2018. The spike certainly is worrisome, but Spain has faced much worse. The disease spread to more than 3,500 people in 2011, most of whom lived in clustered communities — nearly 40% of them had to be hospitalized. The highest number of cases was seen among people five to 14 years old. The following year in 2012, there were 1,210 confirmed cases.

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19. Belarus
> Population: 9.5 million
> Cases in 2018: 216
> Cases in 2017: 1
> Cases in 2016: 29

The last time Belarus had so many confirmed cases of measles was in 2006 — when there was a total of 153. Since then, however, the average reported number of cases has been 16. The recent spike is significant enough to prompt the Canadian government to add Belarus to a travel warning list, which recommends that visitors to certain countries get vaccinated.

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18. Mali
> Population: 19.5 million
> Cases in 2018: 643
> Cases in 2017: 21
> Cases in 2016: 109

Mali faced epidemic levels in 2009-2010 when it had over 3,700 confirmed measles cases. Back then, nomadic groups presented a huge challenge for the vaccination of hundreds of thousands of children, according to humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières.

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17. Algeria
> Population: 42.3 million
> Cases in 2018: 288
> Cases in 2017: 231
> Cases in 2016: 49

The number of measles diagnoses in Algeria so far this year have already exceeded the total of 231 in 2017, which up to that point was the worst measles outbreak on record in the country.

Some local media have reported that the actual number this year may be between 600 and 2,300.

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16. Saudi Arabia
> Population: 33.2 million
> Cases in 2018: 840
> Cases in 2017: 429
> Cases in 2016: 106

Saudi Arabia is experiencing its third worst outbreak in recent times. In 2006 and 2007 there were 813 and 3,550 confirmed measles diagnoses, respectively. An analysis of collected passive and active surveillance data from the Saudi Health Ministry shows a high incidence of the viral infection among unvaccinated populations.