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Europe's rise in measles kills at least 37 people

A child receives a measles vaccination. The number of measles cases in Europe jumped sharply during the first half of this year
Paul McGurk

THE World Health Organization said at least 37 people have died as the number of measles cases in Europe jumped sharply during the first six months of this year.

The UN agency's European office said more than 41,000 cases were reported during the first half of the year - more than in all 12-month periods so far this decade.

The previous highest annual total was 23,927 cases in 2017. A year earlier, only 5,273 cases were reported.

The agency said half of this year's total - about 23,000 cases - occurred in Ukraine.

France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Russia and Serbia had more than 1,000 infections each.

The agency called for better surveillance and increased immunisation rates to prevent the disease from becoming endemic.

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