MOSCOW, January 30. /TASS/. The measles morbidity rate in Russia’s regions stood at 1.73 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 2018, which is more than three times higher than in 2017, the press service of the Russian Health Ministry told reporters on Wednesday.
"In 2018, the morbidity rate was 1.73 cases per 100,000 people (compared to 0.5 in 2017). A total of 2,538 measles cases were registered in 66 regions across the country (54 regions in 2017). There were no fatal measles cases," the press service noted.
According to the Health Ministry, "most cases are related to infections brought into Russia from abroad, which is confirmed by in-depth molecular genetic studies."
The press service noted that the lowest measles morbidity rates were registered in Russia from 2007 to 2011 thanks to high immunization rates. "The WHO’s criterion on the measles morbidity rate in the elimination period, that is, less than one case per 1,000,000 inhabitants, was met," it stressed.
According to the Russian Health Ministry, those who have not been immunized account for the largest number of people diagnosed with measles. "The people who have not been vaccinated or have no information about vaccination (over 90%) account for the largest proportion of those diagnosed with measles. The proportion of children (55.4%) remains high, 90% of them are children who have not been vaccinated against measles," the ministry said.
Children under one year of age are also at risk. This is because, according to the immunization schedule, the first inoculation against measles is carried out when a child is one year old, while the second booster shot is given at the age of six.
According to allergist/immunologist Alexei Bessmertny, children are infected with measles most often, because, as a rule, grownups are immunized, and many elderly people had this viral infection when they were kids. "Those children who have not been vaccinated due to medical reasons or because of parents’ reluctance are at risk. The children who have not been fully vaccinated are less susceptible. They are protected more than 90%, but they can fall ill as well. This disease is most dangerous for those who have not been inoculated at all," he explained.