Measeles Cases Rate in Ukraine Higher Than All European Countries
By the end of 2017, the proportion of vaccinated children has improved significantly, to about 90%, but, according to WHO, such a level should be maintained to change the situation
Photo from Ukrinform-UATV
The number of measles cases in Europe in 2018 reached over 82,000 – the highest rate over the decade, according to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO) for the European region, BBC Ukraine reports.
Although the immunization coverage has improved, WHO states that the coverage is not enough to prevent the virus from circulating in many countries.
The largest number of cases last year was reported in Ukraine, with a total rate higher than in the rest of European countries combined.
Over 53,000 measles cases were reported in Ukraine during 2018, and in the rest of the region as a whole, slightly more than 34,000..
Out of 72 cases of measles in Europe where the infected person died, 16 were reported in Ukraine.
WHO states that the cause of such an outbreak in Europe is a low level of immunization.
By the end of 2017, the proportion of vaccinated children has improved significantly, to about 90%, but, according to WHO, such a level should be maintained to change the situation.
“The picture for 2018 makes it clear that the current pace of progress in raising immunization rates will be insufficient to stop measles circulation. While data indicate exceptionally high immunization coverage at regional level, they also reflect a record number affected and killed by the disease. This means that gaps at local level still offer an open door to the virus,” says Dr. Zsuzsanna Jakab.