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Health at a Glance: Europe 2010

image of Health at a Glance: Europe 2010
This special edition of Health at a Glance focuses on health issues across the 27 European Union member states, three European Free Trade Association countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) and Turkey. It gives readers a better understanding of the factors that affect the health of populations and the performance of health systems in these countries.Its 42 indicators present comparable data covering a wide range of topics, including health status, risk factors,  health workforce and health expenditure.

Each indicator in the book is presented in a user-friendly format, consisting of charts illustrating variations across countries and over time, brief descriptive analyses highlighting the major findings conveyed by the data, and a methodological box on the definition of the indicators and any limitations in data comparability. An annex provides additional information on the demographic and economic context within which health systems operate.   

This publication is the result of collaboration between the OECD and the European Commission, with the help of national data correspondents from the 31 countries.

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Incidence of Selected Communicable Diseases

Communicable diseases such as measles, pertussis and hepatitis B still pose a major threat to the health of European citizens. Measles, a highly infectious disease of the respiratory system, is caused by a virus. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a characteristic rash. It can lead to severe health complications, including pneumonia, encephalitis, diarrhoea and blindness. Pertussis (or whooping cough) is also highly infectious, and is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. The disease derives its name from the sound made from the intake of air after a cough. Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus. The virus is transmitted by contact with blood or body fluids of an infected person. A small proportion of infections become chronic, and these people are at high risk of death from cancer or cirrhosis of the liver. Protection against each of these diseases is available through vaccination (see Indicator 3.3).

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