KARACHI, Pakistan (January 1, 2013)--Measles cases surged in southern Pakistan in 2012, and hundreds of children died the disease, the World Health Organization says.
WHO did not give a reason for the increase in deaths, but a provincial health official said that the disease hit areas where poor families do not vaccinate their children.
Maryam Yunus, a spokesperson for the World Health Organization, said Tuesday that 306 children died in Pakistan of measles in 2012, compared to 64 the year before.
She said the surge was most pronounced in southern Sindh province, where measles killed 210 children in 2012.
She said only 28 children had died there in 2011.
Provincial health minister Saghir Ahmed said 100 children died in Sindh province in December alone, mostly areas where many go unvaccinated.