LONDON -- The number of measles deaths worldwide has apparently dropped by about three-quarters over a decade, a new study by the World Health Organization and others says.
Health officials estimate about 9.6 million children were saved from dying of measles from 2000 to 2010 after big vaccination campaigns were rolled out more than a decade ago. Researchers guessed the number of deaths fell during that time period from about 535,300 to 139,300, or by about 74 percent.
But the figures come with a big grain of salt: scientists had solid data for only 65 countries. For the 128 others, they used modeling to come up with their estimates.
Despite the major dent, the progress fails to meet a WHO target to cut measles deaths by 90 percent by 2010.
The study was published today i n the journal Lancet. -- AP