The number of measles cases continue to rise in Ukraine, albeit at a slightly lower level in the past two weeks, according to the Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.

During the 9th week of 2019, 2,524 people – 1,230 adults and 1,312 children – became ill with measles.

An additional fatality was reported in a 25-day-old infant, the 10th measles death of the year.

Through March 1, Ukraine health officials report 26,544 cases. The highest rates of morbidity are in Lviv, Vinnytsia, Rivne,  Khmelnytsky, and Kyiv.

Poor immunization coverage has contributed to the measles outbreak in Ukraine. In 2018, the measles vaccination rate for newborn babies was only 54 per cent, which is amongst the lowest in the world.

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In order to stop the spread of measles, a special operation is underway in the Lviv region to increase the level of immunization of children. In January and February, tens of thousands schoolchildren have been vaccinated.

Other regions of Ukraine will also be covered. Similar events are already taking place in Vinnytsia region, health officials note.