Epidemiological update: Measles - monitoring European outbreaks, 1 September 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.

Update of the week

This week, updates are provided for Germany, Ireland, Italy, Romania and the United Kingdom. According to national public health authorities, measles has caused 41 deaths in EU countries in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, 12 deaths occurred in Romania and one in the UK. In 2017, deaths were reported from Romania (21), Italy (3), Bulgaria (1), Germany (1), Portugal (1) and France (1).

Epidemiological update: Measles - monitoring European outbreaks, 1 September 2017
Data source: National Institute of Public Health Romania and TESSy (ECDC)

Epidemiological summary

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

Germany has reported 32 cases since 18 August 2017. In 2017, as of 30 August, Germany reported 860 measles cases. During the same time period in 2016, Germany reported 224 cases.

Ireland has reported two cases in the week ending 26 August 2017. In 2017, as of 26 August, Ireland has reported eight measles cases. During the same period in 2016, Ireland reported 42 cases.

Italy has reported 108 cases since 18 August 2017. In 2017, as of 29 August, Italy reported 4 328 cases, including three deaths. Of these cases, 288 are healthcare workers. The median age is 27 years; 88% of the cases were not vaccinated, and 7% received only one dose of vaccine. In 2016, Italy reported 861 cases.

Romania has reported 134 cases and one death since the previous report on 25 August 2017. Since 1 January 2016 and as of 25 August 2017, Romania reported 8 937 cases, including 33 deaths. Of these, 1 969 cases were reported in 2016, and 6 968 cases were reported in 2017.

United Kingdom: On 29 August 2017, media sources reported one additional case related to the outbreak in Newport and Torfaen, Wales, bringing the number of cases related to this outbreak to 17.

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 at least two doses remains the most effective measure.


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.