European monthly measles monitoring, February 2012

Surveillance report
Publication series: Bi-annual measles and rubella monitoring report

ECDC monitors measles transmission in the EU and EEA/EFTA countries and produces monthly epidemiological updates. The European Monthly Measles Monitoring (EMMO) report has two sections. The surveillance section reports officially validated national figures on measles reported by countries to The European Surveillance System (TESSy). The Epidemic Intelligence section reports information from multiple sources including national websites, the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS), TESSy, validated media reports, and personal communication from national authorities. The period covered in the Epidemic Intelligence section will differ between countries, and the number of cases reported should be treated as preliminary data.

Executive summary

The latest European Monthly Measles Monitoring (EMMO) provides analyses of last year's measles surveillance data. In 2011, 30,567 cases of measles were reported by 29 European countries, roughly same number of cases last year but a four-fold increase compared to 2009 (7 175). Only two countries in Europe remained measles-free in 2011, Iceland and Cyprus.

France reported the most cases as well as the highest notification rate per 100 000 population, and accounted for more than half of the cases. Other countries with a high number of cases were Italy, Romania, Spain and Germany. Together, these five countries accounted for more than 90 percent of all measles cases in the EU. Bulgaria, which experienced a large outbreak with more than 22 000 cases in 2010, reported only 157 cases in 2011.

The enhanced measles surveillance data in this report was retrieved from The European Surveillance System (TESSy) on 26 January 2012 and the analysis covers the period from 1 January to 31 December 2011.

The report also pointed out that there is an ongoing measles outbreak in Ukraine with more than 3,000 cases reported in 2012. The country will be hosting the European Football Championship in June this year and large numbers of visitors are expected. Unvaccinated tournament visitors will be at risk of measles infection.

ECDC is monitoring measles transmission in EU Members States, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The EMMO aims to provide public updates on the measles situation in Europe for effective disease control measures, and in support of the common 2015 measles elimination target.