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CFR Launches Interactive Map Tracking Vaccine-Preventable Disease Outbreaks

October 24, 2011


While tremendous progress has been made to combat vaccine-preventable diseases, outbreaks continue to thwart eradication efforts. Measles still kills an estimated 164,000 people around the world each year—mostly children under five. One or more of the three strains of the polio virus have been reported in circulation in Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, and China.

For the past three years, the Global Health program at the Council on Foreign Relations has been tracking relevant reports to produce an interactive map plotting global outbreaks of diseases that are easily prevented by inexpensive and effective vaccines. The diseases include measles, mumps, whooping cough, polio, and rubella.

"These outbreaks illustrate a worrying trend and raise the sense of alarm regarding failures in and public resistance to vaccine efforts," says CFR senior fellow for global health Laurie Garrett. "Small decreases in vaccine coverage are known to lead to dramatic increases in outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases," she explains.

The map is searchable by region, year, and disease. Established media organizations and blogs are encouraged to embed the chart on their sites and to submit additional news reports of outbreaks and vaccine shortages.

The "Vaccine-Preventable Outbreaks Map" is available at:

This publication was made possible by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Council on Foreign Relations is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy.


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