UNICEF: Measles hits tens of thousands in Africa

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The U.N. children's agency says 16 countries in West and Central Africa are experiencing a measles outbreak this year.

UNICEF said Thursday that 185 people have died among more than 22,000 cases. The agency says it is $16 million short in its measles immunization campaign in Africa.

UNICEF says most countries in West and Central Africa have immunized less than 80 percent of their population. Last year more than 400 people died of measles in West Africa.

Measles is one of the most infectious diseases that exists. Though it is no longer a major problem in the West, in poor countries, the disease can kill as many as 30 percent of the children it infects, particularly in those with weakened immune systems.