Ukrainian Measles Outbreak Accelerates
According to Ukraine health officials on June 6, 2018, the measles outbreak in the country is accelerating.
And, both adults and children are being infected with the virus.
The Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine (MHU) reported 1,132 additional people during just one-week (463 adults and 669 children) suffered from measles.
Moreover, 11 fatalities related to measles were reported.
Measles is a disease that can lead to pneumonia and is caused by a highly-contagious virus that is spread through the air.
Since January 2018, 19,249 people (7,825 adults and 11,424 children) have suffered from measles, says the MHU.
The leading cities reporting 2018 measles infections are:
- Lviv (2,639 people: 830 adults and 1,809 children),
- Transcarpathian (2,442 people: 456 adults and 1,986 children),
- Ivano-Frankivsk (2,332 people: 676 adults and 1,656 children),
- Kyiv (1,362 people: 849 adults and 513 children).
Additionally, the MHU announced free vaccinations of all adults, in conjunction with the existing children's program.
In response to the continuing outbreak, the MHU has ordered an additional 392,000 doses of measles vaccines. As of May 31, 2018, 954,000 doses of vaccine are available in Ukraine.
For vaccinations, Ukraine is currently deploying the Priorix vaccine from GSK.
In the USA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued Level 1 Travel Alerts for Ukraine.
USA travelers to Ukraine should make sure they are vaccinated against measles with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.
This CDC alert means Americans traveling to these countries should speak with a healthcare provider regarding their measles immunization status, before departing on a trip.
In the USA, two approved measles vaccines are available, MMR-II and ProQuad.
International travelers can request a vaccine appointment with a pharmacy at this link.
Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.