Measles and rubella monitoring, October 2014

surveillance report
Publication series: Bi-annual measles and rubella monitoring report
Time period covered: October 2013 - September 2014

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

This quarterly monitoring report for measles and rubella includes surveillance data for the twelve month period up to the end of September 2014 and epidemiological intelligence data to the end of October 2014.

Measles

From October 2013 to September 2014, 30 EU/EEA countries conducting measles surveillance reported 4 735 cases, significantly less than the preceding 12-month period (n=10 006). In eight of the 26 countries that reported consistently, the measles notification rate was less than one case per million population – reaching the measles elimination target.
 
Of all cases, 92.2% had a known vaccination status and of these, 85.1% were unvaccinated. In the target group for routine childhood MMR vaccination (ages 1 to 4), 75% of the cases were unvaccinated although many of them would have been too young to be vaccinated according to the national recommendations.
 
One measles-related death was reported and five cases were complicated by acute measles encephalitis.

Rubella
 
Twenty-eight EU/EEA countries reported 6 996 rubella cases during the period.
 
In 18 of the 21 consistently reporting countries, the rubella notification rate was less than one case per million population including 12 countries reporting 0 cases during the 12-month period. The highest number of cases was observed in males in the 15-24 age group. Forty percent of the cases were unvaccinated, however this figure needs to be interpreted with caution as only 1% of the cases tested positive for rubella.
 
ECDC collects and publishes surveillance data on measles and rubella each month and this monitoring report each quarter.

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