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Germany, Italy Account for Majority of Measles Cases in EU

A 2014 case of infant measles in the Philippines. Credit: Rebecca Martin/CDC

In the past 12 months the European Union has reported 3,809 cases of measles, according the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) Measles and Rubella Monitoring report.

The report also states that Germany and Italy accounted for nearly 70 percent of the cases. One measles-related death was reported during this period and six cases were complicated by acute measles encephalitis.

As of April 22, the outbreak of measles in Berlin, which has been ongoing since October 2014, has resulted in 1,134 cases. Measles cases associated with this outbreak have also been reported in Norway, France, Sweden and Croatia.

There are further ongoing measles outbreaks in Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Serbia, and Kyrgyzstan as well as Mongolia, the Republic of Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Sudan, and Brazil.

High Rubella Case Count in Poland

Twenty-seven EU/EEA countries reported 4,394 rubella cases during the period April 2014 to March 2015.

Poland accounted for 96% of all reported rubella cases in the 12-month period. The highest number of cases was observed in 5–9- and 1–4-year-olds. Thirty-two percent of the cases were unvaccinated. However, this figure needs to be interpreted with caution as less than 1% of the cases were confirmed through laboratory testing.

Measles and rubella were 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.

Read the ECDC’s Measles and rubella quarterly report, April 2015.

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