Epidemiological update: Measles - monitoring European outbreaks, 11 August 2017

Epidemiological update

Romania and Italy have been experiencing large outbreaks of measles in 2017. Cases continue to be reported despite ongoing reinforced vaccination activities at the national level. All EU/EEA countries have reported measles cases this year, except for Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta and Norway.

Update of the week

Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania and the United Kingdom provided updates this week. Several other countries have reported outbreaks. According to national public health authorities, measles have caused 40 deaths in EU countries in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, deaths occurred in Romania (12) and the UK (1). In 2017, deaths were reported from Romania (20), Italy (3), Bulgaria (1), Germany (1), Portugal (1) and France (1).

Epidemiological update: Measles - monitoring European outbreaks, 11 August 2017

Epidemiological summary

Austria has reported one case since 7 July 2017. In 2017, as of 4 August, Austria reported 80 measles cases. This exceeds the number of measles cases in 2016.

Finland has reported two cases since 4 August 2017. In 2017, as of 9 August 2017, ten cases of measles have been reported in Finland, compared with one case for the same time period in 2016.

France has reported 92 cases since the report on 22 June 2017. In 2017, as of 31 July, France reported 387 cases, including one death. In 2016, France reported 79 cases.

Germany has reported four cases since the last report on 4 August 2017. In 2017, as of 9 August, Germany reported 818 measles cases. During the same time period in 2016, Germany reported 203 cases.

Greece On 6 August 2017, news media quoting the Director of the Department of Epidemiological Surveillance of the Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, reported eight measles cases in Greece, mostly among unvaccinated children. Three cases were reported in northern Greece and five cases in Attica.

Italy has reported 86 cases since 4 August 2017. In 2017, as of 8 August, Italy reported 4 087 cases, including three deaths. Of these cases, 277 are healthcare workers. The median age is 27 years; 89% of the cases were not vaccinated, and 6% received only one dose of vaccine. In 2016, Italy reported 861 cases.

Romania has reported 108 cases since 4 August 2017. Since 1 January 2016 and as of 4 August 2017, Romania reported 8 455 cases, including 32 deaths. Of these, 1 969 cases were reported during 2016, and 6 486 cases were reported in 2017.

United Kingdom: In the CDTR for week 31, ECDC reported the number of suspected cases for measles (n=962), quoting the Statutory Notifications of Infectious Diseases (NOIDs) data for England and Wales. This number refers to suspected measles cases, solely based on clinician assessment. The number of confirmed cases reported by the UK in TESSy is lower, 92 cases for 2017.

ECDC assessment

Measles outbreaks continue to occur in EU/EEA countries. There is a risk of spread and sustained transmission in areas with susceptible populations. Vaccination with two doses remains the most effective measure.

Since 10 March 2017, ECDC has been reporting on measles outbreaks in Europe on a weekly basis. ECDC also monitors worldwide outbreaks on a monthly basis through epidemic intelligence activities. A rapid risk assessment  was published on 6 March 2017.