Measles and rubella monitoring, April 2015

surveillance report
Publication series: Bi-annual measles and rubella monitoring report
Time period covered: April 2014 - March 2015
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European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Measles and rubella monitoring, April 2015 – Reporting on April 2014 to March 2015 surveillance data and epidemic intelligence data to the end of April 2015.

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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

​In the past 12 months, from April 2014 to March 2015, 3 809 cases were reported by 30 EU and EEA countries according the ECDC’s Measles and Rubella Monitoring report.  The report also states that Germany and Italy accounted for nearly 70 percent of the cases. One measles-related death was reported during this period and six cases were complicated by acute measles encephalitis. As of 22 April 2015, the outbreak of measles in Berlin, which has been ongoing since October 2014, has resulted in 1 134 cases. Measles cases associated with this outbreak have also been reported in Norway, France, Sweden and Croatia. There are further ongoing measles outbreaks in Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Serbia, and Kyrgyzstan as well as Mongolia, the Republic of Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Sudan, and Brazil. Rubella Twenty-seven EU/EEA countries reported 4 394 rubella cases during the period April 2014 to March 2015.  Poland accounted for 96% of all reported rubella cases in the 12-month period. The highest number of cases was observed in 5–9- and 1–4-year-olds. Thirty-two percent of the cases were unvaccinated. However, this figure needs to be interpreted with caution as less than 1% of the cases were confirmed through laboratory testing.  The Americas were declared free of rubella and congenital rubella syndrome on 29 April 2015. Measles and rubella were 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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