Measles has been eliminated in all of the Americas, from Canada to Chile, the World Health Organization declared Tuesday.
It’s the first time the highly contagious virus has been eliminated in an entire region, although it has been eliminated in individual countries, such as the United States.
It was sustained vaccination campaigns that got the job done, WHO said.
“Today we say bye-bye to the indigenous transmission of measles,” Carissa Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Americas arm of WHO, told a a meeting of the organization in Washington.
“We celebrate this historic day in which the scourge has been eliminated,” Etienne added.
Smallpox was eliminated from the Americas in 1971; polio was eliminated in 1994 and rubella, also known as German measles, was eliminated in 2015.
Related: Measles vaccines deliver extra benefits
Smallpox was eradicated globally in …
READ MORE ON NBCNEWS.COM