Highest Number Of Measles Cases In 2019 Recorded In Ukraine, DRC, Madagascar - WHO

Highest Number of Measles Cases in 2019 Recorded in Ukraine, DRC, Madagascar - WHO

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 13th August, 2019) The number of measles cases registered in the first half of 2019 is three times higher than during the same period last year, with the highest number of instances recorded in Ukraine, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Madagascar, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday citing its recent measles surveillance data.

"The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar and Ukraine have recorded the highest numbers of measles this year," the WHO said.

According to the organization's news release, a total of 182 countries reported 364,808 measles cases in the period from January 1 to July 31 2019, compared to 129,239 measles cases reported from 181 countries for the same period last year. With that, the WHO emphasizes that the actual number is likely to be considerably higher because fewer than 1 in 10 cases get formally reported.

The recent WHO measles surveillance data suggests that major measles outbreaks are ongoing in Angola, Cameroon, Chad, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Philippines, South Sudan, Sudan and Thailand, while the United States has reported its highest measles case count in 25 years.

The organization noted that outbreaks have affected countries both with high and low national anti-measles vaccination coverage, while stressing that measles is almost entirely preventable by means of vaccination of up to 95 percent across all geographic areas and age groups within a given country.

Spread of measles has been steadily on rise since 2016. Ukraine has accounted for more than 70 percent of recorded cases in Europe during January-February 2019, the WHO said earlier in May.

In July, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the largest number of measles cases in the United States since 1992, saying the active outbreaks, defined by three or more reported cases, are currently ongoing in the states of New York, California, Washington and Texas.

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