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Afghanistan hit by a rapid surge in the outbreak of measles

New Delhi, Nov 15 (IANS) The World Health Organization (WHO) said that Afghanistan has been hit with a rapid surge in the outbreak of measles and due to lack of vaccine the problem is getting worse, Tolo News reported.

WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris told journalists in Geneva that at least 87 children have died due to measles this year.

"For malnourished children, measles is a death sentence," Harris said.

She emphasised on an urgent need to ramp up testing for the outbreak of the disease in the country, adding that despite sufficient monitoring the outbreak is still raging, the report added.

"Sadly, we've had 87 deaths reported," Harris said. "We will see so many more if we don't move on this quickly."

Officials at the Indira Gandhi Children Hospital in Kabul said that the number of measles deaths will rise if the WHO cannot provide the vaccine as quickly as possible.

"The outbreak is rising day by day. Lack of vaccine is the main reason for the rise of the outbreak," said Abdulsamad Tasal, a doctor at the hospital, the report said.

According to health officials, measles is a highly contagious disease that infects children aged one to five. The disease is only prevented with vaccination.