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Epidemiological update: ongoing measles outbreak in Romania

10 Mar 2017

​A measles outbreak in Romania has been ongoing since February 2016 and cases continue to be reported despite implemented and ongoing response measures at national level through reinforced vaccination activities. As of 3 March 2017, 3 196 cases had been reported to the National Institute of Public Health in Romania since the end of September 2016.

In 2016, measles outbreaks were seen in a number of EU/EEA countries; and an increase in the number of cases continues to be observed in 2017. Previous and ongoing measles outbreaks in three other EU countries have been epidemiologically linked to the current outbreak in Romania. However, additional knowledge on genotypic characterisation of the virus is needed to allow further insight into the epidemiological investigations.

In the EU/EEA Member States, measles cases are reported in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain and Sweden as well as in Romania where a large measles outbreak is ongoing with 3 196 cases reported as of 3 March 2017. 

The progress towards elimination of measles in the European Region of WHO is assessed by The European Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination (RVC). Member States of the WHO European Region are making steady progress towards the elimination of measles. At the fifth meeting of the RVC for Measles and Rubella in October 2016, of 53 countries in the WHO European Region, 24 (15 of which are in EU/EEA) were declared to have reached the elimination goal for measles, and an additional 13 countries (nine in EU/EEA) were concluded to have interrupted endemic transmission for less than 36 months, meaning they are on their way to achieving the elimination goal. However, six EU/EEA countries were judged to still have endemic transmission of measles: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania.
ECDC has prepared a Rapid Risk Assessment published on 6 March 2017. ECDC monitors measles transmission and outbreaks in the EU on weekly base through enhanced surveillance and epidemic intelligence activities.
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