Measles and rubella monitoring, December 2012

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

Measles and rubella are targeted for elimination in Europe by 2015. ECDC closely monitors progress towards interruption of endemic transmission of both diseases through enhanced surveillance and epidemic intelligence. Measles and rubella vaccinations are routinely delivered as trivalent measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine in Europe, and the first of the two recommended doses is normally given during the second year of life.

Executive summary


The EU has returned to similar numbers of measles cases as seen before the large outbreaks of 2010 and 2011. The new December Measles and Rubella Monitoring report by ECDC shows that the total number of measles cases in the EU is 7 016 for 2012 compared to some 30 000 for 2011.

Individually, 12 of 29 EU/EEA countries had less than one case of measles per million population in the last 12 months, low enough to meet the WHO elimination target set for 2015. However, five countries: France, Italy, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom accounted for 94% of the reported cases. 


For rubella, 16 of 26 countries with national surveillance met the elimination target, with ten of those reporting no cases at all in the last twelve months. The large rubella outbreak in Romania of more than 24 000 cases in the last 12 months, is receding after peaking in March. Only 24 cases were reported by Romania between August and October 2012.