Measles and rubella monitoring, April 2013

Surveillance report
Publication series: Bi-annual measles and rubella monitoring report

Measles and rubella are targeted for elimination in Europe by 2015. ECDC closely monitors progress towards interruption of endemic transmission of both diseases through enhanced surveillance and epidemic intelligence. Measles and rubella vaccinations are routinely delivered as trivalent measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine in Europe, and the first of the two recommended doses is normally given during the second year of life.

Executive summary

During the period March 2012 to February 2013, 8 499 cases of measles were reported by 29 EU/EEA countries and Croatia. This is the first time data from Croatia is included in the report ahead of its accession to the EU on 1 July.

In the United Kingdom, measles transmission is increasing across England and Wales. In 2012, the UK reported more than 2 000 cases of measles, the highest number since 1994. On-going outbreaks are reported from North-East England and the Swansea area of Wales.

The highest notification rate was among infants under one year of age (249 cases per 1 000 000 population), followed by children aged between one and four years (108 cases per 1 000 000 population). Six cases were complicated by acute measles encephalitis in the last 12 months. No measles-related deaths were reported for this reporting period.

Rubella

During the period March 2012 to February 2013, 21 549 cases of rubella were reported. Poland and Romania accounted for 99% of the reported cases. Of the 26 contributing countries, 21 reported data for the entire period.

Since August 2012, Poland alone has contributed over 90% of the reported cases. In January and February 2013, 4 520 cases were reported in Poland, which is a tenfold increase compared with the same period in 2012 when 453 cases were reported. Poland is currently facing a nationwide epidemic which particularly affects adolescents aged 15–19 years.

Measles and rubella are targeted for elimination in Europe by 2015. ECDC closely monitors progress towards interruption of endemic transmission of both diseases through enhanced surveillance and epidemic intelligence.

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