Measles - Annual Epidemiological Report for 2023

Surveillance report
Publication series: Annual Epidemiological Report
Time period covered: 2023

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Measles. In: ECDC. Annual Epidemiological Report for 2023. Stockholm: ECDC; 2024.

In 2023, 2 361 cases of measles were reported by 30 EU/EEA Member States. The overall notification rate was 5.2 cases per 1 000 000 population, which was significantly higher than the notification rate observed the last three years (2022:0.3, 2021:0.1, and 2020:4.3). Despite the rise, the 2023 rate remains lower than the pre-pandemic level observed in 2019 (27.2) In 2023, seven countries reported no measles activity. There were no reported deaths related to measles for this year.

In 2023, measles cases were reported among all age groups, with an overall highest percentage of unvaccinated individuals (86%) observed in the past five years. The age-specific notification rates decreased with increasing age, with children <1 years and those aged 1–4 years most affected.

The observed vaccine coverage estimates indicate that in many countries, routine childhood vaccination against measles is below the level recommended to achieve and sustain measles elimination. Only four countries in the EU/EEA have achieved the ≥95% threshold for two doses, in 2022.

Continuous high-quality surveillance and outbreak investigations are key tools to closely monitoring measles epidemiology in the EU/EEA and identifying immunity gaps in the population. For the measles elimination goal to be reached, accelerated efforts are needed in order to increase vaccination coverage and uptake of both routine childhood immunisation and catch-up campaigns in adolescents and adults who have missed vaccination in the past.