Sept. 28, 2016 -- North, Central and South America are free of endemic measles, a global health organization declared Tuesday.
The Americas are the first region in the world to be free of endemic measles, which refers to cases of measles not brought in from other parts of the world. The last known case of endemic measles in the Americas was in 2002, according to the Pan American Health Organization, United Press International reported.
It took 14 years to declare the Americas free of endemic measles due to factors such as poor communication between health departments in various countries and unvaccinated migrant populations on the move, the health group said.
Measles can lead to pneumonia, blindness and in some cases can be fatal, UPI reported.