Measles is one of the world’s most contagious viruses. It can impair sight, hearing and cause brain inflammation and pneumonia. But even though it can be prevented by a vaccine, outbreaks in unvaccinated children continue to erupt even in the world’s wealthiest countries – in 2019, the USA saw its largest measles outbreak for a quarter of a century.
Dr Thomas Tu has an intimate relationship with the virus he’s devoted his life to studying, having been diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B at the age of 14. He discusses the stigma associated with the disease and the future of treating it.
Hepatitis B kills more people each year than AIDS-related illnesses, yet an effective vaccine exists. Ensuring every child has access to it is crucial to fighting back.
Before immunisation for Hib became routine, it was one of the biggest killers of children under five and the main cause of meningitis. High vaccine coverage is essential to keep that threat at bay, especially given rising antimicrobial resistance to antibiotics used to treat Hib infection.
The disease can kill one in five people infected, yet an effective vaccine exists. Routine tetanus immunisation saves the lives of thousands of newborns every year.
Before immunisation for pertussis, or whooping cough, became routine, it killed twice as many children as measles and polio combined. High vaccine coverage is essential to keep that threat at bay.
Before immunisation for diphtheria became routine, it was a major killer of children and adults worldwide. High vaccine coverage is essential to keep that threat at bay.