Measles and rubella monitoring, October 2013

Surveillance report
Publication series: Bi-annual measles and rubella monitoring report
Time period covered: November 2012 - October 2013

Measles and rubella are targeted for elimination in Europe by 2015. ECDC closely monitors progress towards interruption of endemic transmission of both diseases. 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

​A number of European countries continue to experience large measles and rubella outbreaks. The number of cases are unacceptably high given that measles and rubella are targeted for elimination in Europe by 2015. EU Member States are urged to accelerate their efforts to eliminate measles and rubella. The surveillance report covers the 12-month period up to the end of October 2013; the previous report covered data to the end of June 2013.


During the 12-month period, November 2012 to October 2013, 10 678 cases of measles were reported by the 30 EU/EEA countries. The countries reporting the most cases were Germany (14%), Italy (28%), the Netherlands (18%), Romania (14%) and the United Kingdom (19%) and together accounted for 93% of all cases in Europe. In terms of the population size, the Netherlands had the highest notification rate for measles with 130 cases per million people.

In eleven countries, the measles notification rate was less than one case per million people, the target rate for measles elimination, during the last 12 months.

Vaccination status was known for 95% of the 10 675 cases reported with known age. Of these 10 129 cases, 83% (8 910 cases) were unvaccinated, 8% (826) had received one dose of measles vaccine, 0.4% (42) had received two or more doses, and 3% (351) had received an unknown number of doses.

Three measles-related deaths were reported during the period November 2012 to October 2013, and eight cases were complicated by acute measles encephalitis.
For the 12-months period November 2012 to October 2013, 39 122 rubella cases were reported.
Poland accounted for 99% of these rubella cases; 88% of these were either unvaccinated or had an unknown vaccination status.