Measles outbreaks continuing to occur in a number of European countries


  • Priscilla Lynch
  • Univadis Medical News
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Measles outbreaks are continuing to occur in a number of European countries, and there is a risk of spread and sustained transmission in areas with susceptible populations, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

The latest ECDC Communicable Diseases Threats Report states that Romania (4,317), France (2,588), Greece (2,238) and Italy (1,716) have reported the most cases so far in 2018. Over 1,100 cases have been reported in Russia, which just hosted the 2018 FIFA Football World Cup.

To date in 2018, 31 measles-related deaths have been reported across the EU/EEA region.

According to the ECDC’s latest monthly surveillance report, measles is continuing to spread because of suboptimal vaccination coverage in many countries. Of 11,592 measles cases (90% of cases reported between 1 June 2017 and 31 May 2018) with known age and vaccination status, 83 per cent were unvaccinated, 10 per cent had received one dose of measles vaccine, 5 per cent had received two or more doses, and 2 per cent had received an unknown number of doses.

Only four EU/EEA countries have reached the 95 per cent vaccination target for both doses, showing that further sustained action is needed, said the ECDC.

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