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Health at a Glance: Europe 2014

image of Health at a Glance: Europe 2014

This third edition of Health at a Glance: Europe presents a set of key indicators related to health status, determinants of health, health care resources and activities, quality of care, access to care, and health expenditure and financing in 35 European countries, including the 28 European Union member states, four candidate countries and three EFTA countries. The selection of indicators is based largely on the European Core Health Indicators (ECHI) shortlist, a set of indicators that has been developed to guide the reporting of health statistics in the European Union. This is complemented by additional indicators on quality of care, access to care and health expenditure, building on the OECD expertise in these areas.

Compared with the previous edition, this third edition includes a greater number of ECHI indicators, reflecting progress in the availability of comparable data in the areas of non-medical determinants of health and access to care. It also includes a new chapter dedicated to access to care, including selected indicators on financial access, geographic access and timely access.

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Incidence of selected communicable diseases

Communicable diseases such as measles, pertussis and hepatitis B still pose major threats 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 skin rash. It can lead to severe health complications, including pneumonia, encephalitis, diarrhoea and blindness. Pertussis (or whooping cough) is highly infectious, and is caused by a bacteria. 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 measles, pertussis and hepatitis B is available through vaccination (see , Childhood vaccination programmes).

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