Will measles hit EURO 2012?

15:35, 29 March 2012
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At the end of February...

At the end of February, the World Health Organization quite strongly advised fans from Europe going to Ukraine for EURO 2012 to get vaccinations against measles, according to Kyiv Weekly. “If you are not vaccinated, you run the risk of being infected and may spread measles to others,” reads the memo of the WHO to the fans of EURO 2012.

In an article that looks into the problem, KW asked Ihor Pokanevych, Deputy Chair of the WHO Representative Office in Ukraine to comment. “Measles is a cyclical disease and the cycle is six years. The last time the highest indicators of measles cases in Ukraine were registered was in 2005-2006, when Ukrainians accounted for over 80% of all infected people in Europe. The next peak falls were in 2012,” the expert said. “Measles outbreaks were registered in many European countries and we understand that it simply increases the probability of the epidemic in our country since fans from Europe can bring the virus with them for the championships. Since the start of the year, over 26,000 cases of measles were registered in Europe, which is three times higher than over the same period in previous years. The highest number of cases was registered in France. After the outbreak in 2005 we in Ukraine recommended additional vaccination, but the campaign was stopped due to a lethal case in the Donetsk oblast.”

President of Boris Clinic Mykhailo Radutskiy was more upbeat: “I do not see any reasons for panic, however. Ukraine does not have to specifically prepare for measles and by purchasing super expensive medications in large shipments. Measles are treated with a simple set of medications that is available in Ukraine.”


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