Health Ministry of Ukraine declares that the level of measles morbidity does not exceed the epidemic threshold, but it is better to be ready for an outbreak, ForUm correspondent reports.

WHO representative in Ukraine Igor Pokanevych informed that as of 20 September 2011, 40 of 53 Member States in the WHO European Region have reported 26 025 confirmed measles cases for the period January – July 2011.

The highest number of cases was reported from France with 14 025 cases for the first six months of the year. In addition, eleven of all cases in the Region were lethal (6 in France and one in each of Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Romania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the United Kingdom). The most recent outbreak was reported from Israel in September, with 12 cases.
According to him, as for America counties, the largest outbreak in Quebec, Canada, involves 742 reported cases, and 213 cases were registered in the United States. Most of these outbreaks are linked to importations from Europe.

Pokanevych reminded that in 2012 Ukraine is hosting Euro football championship and called upon the authorities to conduct an information campaign and immunization.

In his turn, representative of the Sanitary Epidemic Agency of the Health Ministry Viktor Svita informed there were 194 cases of measles registered in Ukraine in 2011, and 93% of them were on the territory of the Western Ukraine. He pointed out Ukraine has a problem with vaccination and revaccination. "The number of unvaccinated children increases," Svita added.

Measles is a highly infectious disease that causes complications and deaths, even in previously-healthy individuals, but is fully preventable by vaccination.

Chief infection disease doctor of the Health Ministry Kramariv underlined that adults are at larger risk from the measles outbreak than children. He also noted that adults can voluntarily get vaccinated, and as for children there is a vaccination calendar, according to which Ukrainian children are vaccinated free of charge.

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