Epidemiological update: Measles - monitoring European outbreaks, 18 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.

Data source: National Institute of Public Health Romania and TESSy (ECDC)

Update of the week

This week, Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Romania and the United Kingdom have provided updated case counts and 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 summary

Epidemiological summary EU/EEA countries, with updates since last week: 

Austria has reported one case since 11 August 2017. In 2017, as of 11 August, Austria reported 81 measles cases. This exceeds the number of measles cases in 2016. 

On 16 August 2017, Denmark reported one measles case residing in West Zealand, Denmark. The case, an immigrant with uncertain vaccination status, returned to Denmark after staying in Poland in July 2017. This is the second case of measles in 2017 in Denmark. In 2016, Denmark reported three cases. 

France: Media reported six measles cases, two adults and four children, in the north of Ardèche district between early July and 9 August 2017. In 2017, as of 31 July, France reported 387 cases, including one death. In 2016, France reported 79 cases. 

Germany has reported ten cases since the last report on 11 August 2017. In 2017, as of 16 August, Germany reported 828 measles cases. During the same time period in 2016, Germany reported 210 cases. 

Romania has reported 38 cases since 11 August 2017. Since 1 January 2016 and as of 11 August 2017, Romania reported 8 493 cases, including 32 deaths. Of these, 1 969 cases were reported during 2016, and 6 524 cases were reported in 2017. 

United Kingdom: On 16 August 2017, media reported four additional cases related to the outbreak in Newport and Torfaen, Wales, bringing the number of cases related to this outbreak to 16. 

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.

ECDC link: Measles page


EU/EEA countries report measles cases on a monthly basis to ECDC who publishes them monthly. 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. ECDC published a rapid risk assessment on 6 March 2017.