Georgia Among Top 7 Countries with Measles Cases

The World Health Organization says the number of measles cases in Europe in the first six months of 2018 are nearly double last year's count. Georgia occupies one of the top places on the list of countries experiencing an outbreak of the disease.

According to the World Health Organization's European Regional Bureau data, in the first 6 months of 2018 the measles virus has infected more than 41,000 people. In 2010-2017, the highest rate was recorded in 2017 with 23,927 cases and the lowest in 2016 with 5,273 cases.

Georgia is among the top seven countries where the measles infection rate exceeded 1000 in the first six months of 2018.

1. Italy
2. Russia
3. France
4. Georgia
5. Greece
6. Serbia
7. Ukraine

The World Health Organization says the largest number of measles cases was reported in Ukraine - 23,000. About 32 people died due to measles complications, 14 deaths were reported in Serbia.

According to data from the National Center for Disease Control of Georgia, from 13 January to 20 August, 1,313 cases of measles were reported and 2 people have died due to complications.

Paata Imnadze, Deputy Director of the Center for Disease Control of Georgia, says that mainly people between the ages of 20 and 40 are infected with measles. Also, children whose parents have not been vaccinated represent a risk group.

“Over 10 % of people aged 20-40 have not undergone the vaccination yet,” Imnadze stressed, noting a vaccination campaign has been underway for over a year and a half.

Measles is a highly contagious infection caused by the measles virus. It is an airborne disease which spreads easily through the air and also through saliva or nasal secretions. Nine out of ten people who are not immune and share living space with an infected person will catch it. 

By Thea Morrison

21 August 2018 09:55