14 Feb 2019 16:24

Russian measles sickness rate much smaller than European despite growing overall numbers - Rospotrebnadzor head

MOSCOW. Feb 14 (Interfax) - The measles sickness rate in Russia is far smaller than in Europe and neighboring countries thanks to enhanced border control and other measures, the head of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor), Anna Popova, said.

"In 2018, Ukraine had 1,200 measles cases per 1 million residents, while the rate stood at approximately 600-700 in Georgia, 300-400 in European countries, and 17 in Russia," Popova told Interfax.

"The overall number of domestic occurrences is higher than it was last year, but with such surroundings it is still a good result which is highly appreciated by WHO," she said.

Border control with countries experiencing outbreaks of measles was enhanced "a rather long time ago," Popova said.

"Measures taken on the border and in border territories are keeping measles rates in Russia at one of the lowest levels in Europe," she said.

Rospotrebnadzor said in February that measles rates in Russia soared 350% year-on-year in December-January.

According to information posted on Rospotrebnadzor's website, 2,538 people contracted measles in Russia in December 2018 - January 2019, compared with 725 a year ago.