Ukraine in TOP3 European states with highest number of measles cases

Faith Castro
February 21, 2018

Advisers met Tuesday to talk about how to increase vaccination rates in Europe.

"Every new person affected by measles in Europe reminds us that unvaccinated children and adults, regardless of where they live, remain at risk of catching the disease and spreading it to others who may not be able to get vaccinated", said Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO's regional director for Europe.

At the end of January 2018, there were 51 confirmed cases in the West Midlands.

Far fewer cases were reported in other European countries, including 967 in Greece, 927 in Germany, 702 in Serbia, 649 in Tajikistan, 520 in France, 408 in the Russian Federation, 369 in Belgium, 282 in the United Kingdom, 167 in Bulgaria, 152 in Spain, 146 in Czechia and 105 in Switzerland.

Worldwide health chiefs have calculated that there has been a 400 per cent rise in the number of measles across Europe in the past year. The highest numbers of affected people were reported in Romania (5562), Italy (5006) and Ukraine (4767).

The Health Service Executive is running an MMR clinic in the Barrack Street Primary Health centre on the city's Edward Street from midday tomorrow to encouarge people to get vaccinated.

The vaccine is given as two doses to very young children as part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme.

Despite this, the World Health Organization reports that multiple actions are being taken across Europe to stop the current outbreaks and prevent future ones, including public awareness campaigns, immunising healthcare professionals and other adults at particular risk, addressing challenges in access, and improving supply planning and logistics.

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Adults and older children can be vaccinated at any age if they have not been fully immunised before.

The symptoms of measles include fever, rash and red and painful eyes. Most of the American measles cases can be tracked back to people traveling overseas.

Romania recorded 5,562 cases and Italy had some 5,006 cases.

Last year, there were 23 confirmed cases while in 2016, there were 43 confrimed cases.

In recent years, a loose group of campaigners against vaccinations, dubbed the anti-vax movement, has dissuaded Italians from opting in to immunisations by citing supposed risks.

It followed a record low of 5,273 cases in 2016.

A spokesperson stated that the uptake in the MMR vaccine in Limerick has been consistently lower than below World Health Organisation recommendations, which is 95% uptake.

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