The number of measles cases being reported across the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA) dropped between March and July, but the current outbreak is far from over, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
During July, 758 cases of measles were reported across 21 countries in the EU/EEA, compared to 1,177 cases reported during June, the latest ECDC data show.
Five countries continued to report high case counts but with decreasing trends on previous months: Italy (113), France (79), the United Kingdom (65), Germany (52) and Greece (38).
However, Slovakia reported a marked increase in cases, with 257 cases reported for July compared to 72 for June and 18 for May.
“Since March, the number of measles cases in the EU/EEA have dropped steadily, which is of course a positive development,” said Tarik Derrough, ECDC senior expert on vaccine-preventable diseases.
“However, measles continues to spread across Europe because vaccination coverage in most European countries remains sub-optimal. Only four EU/EEA countries reported figures of at least 95% vaccination coverage for both doses of measles-containing vaccine for 2017.”
From 1 August 2017 to 31 July 2018, 14,118 cases of measles, including 37 deaths, were reported across 30 EU/EEA Member States.