The number of measles cases in war-torn Iraq has risen this far in 2015 compared to the previous two years, according to an OCHA Humanitarian Crisis Situation Report.

Iraq map/CIA
Iraq map/CIA

The country, which has seen more than 3 million people displaced during the past year and a half, has seen the number of confirmed measles cases between January and July this year to be 976, this compares to 834 in 2014 and 603 in 2013. Baghdad and Babylon governorates have registered most cases. A nation-wide measles campaign is yet to take place this year.

The Department of Health along with health partners are organizing mop-up vaccinations at the localities reporting measles cases to contain the spread of disease.

According to the World Health Organization, measles is a highly contagious, serious disease caused by a virus. In 1980, before widespread vaccination, measles caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths each year.

The disease remains one of the leading causes of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine. Approximately 145 700 people died from measles in 2013 – mostly children under the age of 5.