An outbreak of aseptic meningitis associated to a kindergarten in Suceava city in northern Romania has been reported. A total of 62 cases of enterovirus have been reported identified in the city and wider district, 53 cases of which have led to aseptic meningitis.
Suceava county is known to have non-polio enteroviruses circulation during the summer periods making this outbreak not wholly unexpected. However, an increase in the number of cases and a shift of infection from younger to older age groups in the affected area cannot be excluded in the future. The previous enterovirus outbreak in this county occurred in 1999.
Public health control measures have been implemented by the local authorities to limit the spread and monitor the development of the outbreak. No similar meningitis outbreaks have been reported in neighbouring countries, suggesting that the spread of the Suceava outbreak has been limited although independent outbreaks can still occur.
Public health authorities throughout the EU and neighbouring countries are being encouraged to monitor aseptic meningitis in the coming summer and autumn months.
Similar recent large scale outbreaks in the EU region Europe have been reported from France, Greece, Latvia, Romania, Serbia and Spain.
ECDC has prepared a rapid risk assessment on the outbreak following a request from DG Health and Consumers, European Commission.
Read full rapid risk assessment: Meningitis outbreak, Suceava county, Romania