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Czech Republic 1 of 4 states stripped of measles-free status

The World Health Organization has stripped the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Greece and Albania of their “measles free status” after a marked increase in cases in all of the countries, according to a report by Czech Radio.

The Czech health authorities registered 579 cases of measles in the first seven months of this year, compared to 203 in the previous year.

As in many other countries suffering renewed outbreaks, the spread of measles in the Czech Republic is attributed to the growing reluctance of some parents to get their children vaccinated against the disease. 

The WHO announced the reclassification in an annual report on the incidence of contagious diseases in Europe. Thirty-five out of 53 European countries have retained their measles-free status.