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Astana, Kazakhstan • 11 December, 2023 | 11:24
1 min read

Measles Outbreaks: Kazakhstan Ranked Third in Cases Globally

According to the CDC, the country recorded 12,985 measles cases from May to October

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The American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published the global measles outbreaks report for May–October 2023, in which Kazakhstan ranked third in terms of the number of cases, QazMonitor reports.

According to the statistics based on monthly data reported to WHO (Geneva) as of early November 2023, Yemen led with 25,216 cases, followed by India with 14,927 cases. Kazakhstan ranked third with 12,985 cases. The top ten also included Ethiopia, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Russia, Iraq, Indonesia, and Nigeria.

Measles, caused by the highly contagious measles virus, is an airborne disease preventable through vaccination. It easily spreads through the coughs and sneezes of infected individuals. Approximately 9 out of 10 unprotected people will become infected upon exposure to the measles virus. Measles outbreaks are declared when the reported cases in an area exceed the expected number.

Measles is a vaccine-preventable disease (VPD), with safe and effective vaccines in use since the 1960s. Two doses of a measles vaccine provide protection. The disease can lead to severe health complications, including brain damage, deafness, and blindness. Moreover, measles can cause pneumonia and diarrhea.

Providing data for India and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the CDC clarifies that WHO classifies all suspected measles cases reported from India as measles clinically compatible if a specimen was not collected as per the algorithm for classification of suspected measles in the WHO VPD Surveillance Standards. Thus numbers might be different between what WHO reports and what India reports. As for the DRC, the country typically reports more cases through the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response system.

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