UNICEF has reported that measles cases worldwide have surged by 300% in the first three months of 2019. UNICEF's report came out on the same day that the USA's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that confirmed measles cases in the U.S. are the highest they've been since the disease was declared eradicated in 2000. UNICEF reported that an estimated 169 million children worldwide have missed out on measles vaccines. It added that 110,000 people (mostly children) died from measles in 2017, up 22 per cent from the year before. UNICEF said: "The measles virus will always find unvaccinated children....We need to vaccinate every child, in rich and poor countries alike."
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The CDC blamed the anti-vaxxer (anti-vaccination) movement for a drop in the number of parents vaccinating their children. The anti-vaccination movement began in France in 1763, when doctors believed vaccines were harmful. The anti-vaxxer message is now being widely spread across social media websites. Facebook has vowed to take down anti-vaxxer posts. The CDC blamed the anti-vaxxer movement for the rise in measles cases. It said: "A significant factor contributing to the outbreaks...is misinformation...about the safety of the measles vaccine. Some organizations are deliberately targeting...communities with inaccurate and misleading information about vaccines."