"Many countries are in the midst of sizeable measles outbreaks, with all regions of the world experiencing sustained rises in cases", the WHO added.
The number of measles cases across the U.S. rose for the third week in a row, bringing the total to 555 - the highest number in the past five years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.
Over the a year ago, the largest numbers have been in Ukraine, Madagascar and India, with each reporting more than 60,000 cases.
In 2014, the United States reported a record 667 cases, including one large outbreak primarily among unvaccinated Amish communities in OH that accounted for more than half of the cases.
The number of confirmed cases of measles in the United States this year jumped by almost 20 percent in the week ended April 11, in the country's second-worst outbreak in almost two decades, federal health officials reported on Monday. The cases were found in 20 states spanning the country. According to the CDC, there was an average of 6,000 measles-related deaths each year within the first decade of the disease being reported.
Most of the cases have been in NY, site of an outbreak among ultra-Orthodox Jews that started in the fall.
A state judge overturned the order, but Rockland is appealing that decision.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all children get two doses of measles vaccine, which is 97% effective.
NY health officials said they were working with orthodox Jewish leaders to combat anti-vaccination campaigns.
The mistaken belief can be traced back to 1998, when a doctor in the United Kingdom published a now discredited study claiming the MMR vaccine was linked to autism. However, the claim spread fear among parents, leading to a small but vocal faction that makes up the current anti-vax movement. "That's been proven. There is no association whatsoever between the measles vaccine and autism".
Measles can cause serious long-term harm, to individuals and to the economy.
About one out of every 1,000 children with measles will develop swelling of the brain, which can lead to convulsions and leave the child deaf or with an intellectual disability.