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Surveillance and disease data

 This page was updated on 7 March 2017 

Main developments

Reporting on measles surveillance data from 1 February 2016 to 31 January 2017

  • Between 1 February 2016 and 31 January 2017, 30 EU/EEA Member States reported 4 484 cases of measles. Twenty-eight Member States reported consistently throughout the 12-month period. Croatia and Spain did not report data for January 2017.
  •  The highest numbers of cases were reported by Romania (1 995), Italy (1 020) and the United Kingdom (575), accounting respectively for 44%, 23% and 13% of the EU/EEA cases in the 12-month period.
  •  Measles is targeted for elimination in Europe. The measles notification rate was below the elimination target (one case per million population) in 18 of the 30 reporting countries. Nine of these Member States reported zero cases. The highest notification rates were observed in Romania (100.4), Italy (16.8) and Ireland (9.7).
  •  The diagnosis of measles was confirmed by positive laboratory results (serology, virus detection or isolation) in 67% of all cases.
  •  Of all cases with known age (n=4 484), 1 887 (42%) were children less than 5 years of age, while 1 633 (36%) were aged 15 years or over. The highest incidence was reported in children below one year of age (96.3 per million) and children from 1 to 4 years of age (65.3 per million).
  •  Of all cases with known vaccination status, 88% were unvaccinated, 8% were vaccinated with one dose, 3% were vaccinated with two or more doses, 1% were vaccinated with an unknown number of doses. Of all cases, 6% had an unknown vaccination status.
  •  The proportion of cases with unknown vaccination status was highest in adults aged 30 years and over, reaching 14% in this age group. The proportion of unvaccinated cases was highest among children below one year of age (98%). This is expected as these children are too young to have received the first dose of measles vaccine. Infants are particularly vulnerable to complications of measles and are best protected by herd immunity which is achieved when population coverage for the second dose of a measles-containing vaccine is at least 95%. 
  • In the target group for routine childhood MMR vaccination (1-4 year-olds), 85% of the cases were unvaccinated, 12% were vaccinated with one dose, 1% with two doses or more, 1% with an unknown number of doses and 2% had an unknown vaccination status.
  • Thirteen deaths due to measles were reported during the 12-month period, twelve in Romania and one in the United Kingdom.
  • A measles outbreak is ongoing in Romania and the number of measles cases reported to ECDC is different from the number published by the National Institute of Public Health in Romania. Such discrepancy may be explained by the delay in case-based reporting to ECDC, compared to the aggregated data regularly published by the National Institute of Public Health. For more information, see the ECDC Rapid Risk assessment
  • A number of measles outbreaks in the EU (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain) and outside the EU (Switzerland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, South Africa, South Sudan) were detected by epidemic intelligence. See the CDTR.

 Measles and rubella monitoring reports

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