Epidemiological update: Measles - monitoring European outbreaks, 2 April 2017

Epidemiological update

​A measles outbreak in Romania has been ongoing since February 2016 and cases continue to be reported despite ongoing response measures that have been implemented at national level through reinforced vaccination activities. Between September 2016 to 24 March 2017, Romania reported 3 911 cases.In 2016, a number of EU/EEA countries reported measles outbreaks, and an increase in the number of cases continues to be observed in 2017. Some of the previous and ongoing measles outbreaks in other EU countries have been epidemiologically linked to the current outbreak in Romania. However, additional knowledge (e.g. genotypic characterisation of the virus) is needed to carry out a successful epidemiological investigation.

New measles cases per week of reporting, week 2016-39 to 2017-12, Romania 

Weekly summary

In Europe, measles cases have been reported in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain and Sweden as well as in Romania, where 3 911 cases have been reported as of 24 March 2017.
Vaccination status of cases of measles by age, 24/03/2017

ECDC assessment

Measles outbreaks continue to occur in EU/EEA countries, and there is the risk of spread and sustained transmission in areas with susceptible populations. The national vaccination coverage remains less than 95% for the second dose of MMR in the majority of EU/EEA countries. The progress towards elimination of measles in the European Region of WHO is assessed by The European Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination (RVC). Member States of the WHO European Region are making steady progress towards the elimination of measles. At the fifth meeting of the RVC for Measles and Rubella in October 2016, of 53 countries in the WHO European Region, 24 (15 of which are in EU/EEA) were declared to have reached the elimination goal for measles, and an additional 13 countries (nine in the EU/EEA) were concluded to have interrupted endemic transmission for between 12 and 36 months, meaning they are on their way to achieving the elimination goal. However, six EU/EEA countries were judged to still have endemic transmission of measles: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Romania.

Source: WHO - Europe

ECDC has prepared a Rapid Risk Assessment published on 6 March 2017. ECDC monitors measles transmission and outbreaks in the EU/EEA on weekly basis through enhanced surveillance and epidemic intelligence activities.