Pervanidou D et al. Eurosurveillance 2010; 15(30): 29 July
Description: Despite a large decline in measles incidence in the past decade in Europe, the World Health Organization (WHO) target to eliminate measles in Europe by 2010 does not seem to be feasible.
A measles outbreak with more than 20,000 reported cases has been taking place in Bulgaria since April 2009, and clusters of cases have been reported from several countries in Europe in 2009 and 2010. A measles outbreak has been ongoing in Greece, since January 2010, originally related to the recent outbreak in Bulgaria. A total of 126 measles cases have been reported to the Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention by 25 July 2010, giving a rate of 1.1 cases per 100 000 populations. Cases mainly belonged to three groups: Roma population of Bulgarian nationality, Greek Roma population, and Greek non-minority population. In these population groups, 67%, 95%, and 25% of cases respectively were children aged 0-14 years. Cases are mostly unvaccinated (n=93). Measures were taken to raise clinical awareness, and vaccination of specific population groups was undertaken. Guidelines for measles control were distributed to healthcare staff. Furthermore, physicians were alerted to increase their awareness for measles cases, to strengthen surveillance and to complete routine immunisation of children, adolescents and young adults in the wider community, according to the national immunisation schedule.