Ukraine Reports 11 Measles Fatalities, More Than 30,00 New Infections This Year
UKRAINE– Health officials in Kyiv have said that 30,794 cases of measles have been reported in Ukraine since the beginning of the year.
The Health Ministry said on March 18 that 16,969 of the victims were children and that 11 people had died of the disease.
There were more than 2,000 new infections reported during the week from March 11 to March 17.
On March 1, UNICEF reported that there were 35,120 measles cases in Ukraine in 2018, a massive increase over the nearly 5,000 cases reported in 2017.
Citing World Health Organization (WHO) data, UNICEF reported that just 42 percent of Ukrainian one-year-olds had received measles vaccinations as of the end of 2016.
The WHO recommends a vaccination rate of 95 percent to prevent major outbreaks.
Measles cases more than tripled across Europe last year, with Ukraine accounting for most of the gain.
The UNICEF report blamed the outbreak on “vaccine hesitancy” that threatens to undo decades of work to get the “highly preventable, but potentially deadly disease” under control.
Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax
Copyright (c) 2019. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.
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