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Measles Outbreaks in Europe (Update 12)

22 Mar 2018

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reportedthat since the beginning of 2018, large outbreaks of measles continue to be reported as follows:

Romania - In the first two months of 2018, 757 confirmed cases of measles were reported, including three deaths.

Italy - In January 2018, Italy reported 168 cases of measles, including two deaths. Cases were reported from 12 regions with the majority from Sicily, Lazio, Calabria and Liguria.

France - So far in 2018, 429 cases were reported including one death in February. Cases have been reported across almost all regions in the past weeks, with half of all cases from the region Nouvelle Aquitaine.

Greece - So far in 2018, 1 131 cases were reported including one death. The outbreak mainly affects southern Greece and especially the regions of Dytiki Ellada, Peloponnese and Attica.

Portugal - A recent measles outbreak in the northern region of Portugal was reported to include 145 suspected cases of which 53 have been confirmed.

Countries outside the European Union /European Economic Area.

Ukraine - In European countries outside the EU, the largest outbreak of measles continues in Ukraine, with 6 484 cases in 2018 as of 6 March, including seven deaths (five children and two adults) Most of the cases were reported from Ivano-Frankivsk, Zakarpattia, Odesa, Chernivtsi and Lviv regions.

Serbia and Kosovo - Outbreaks of measles were reported from the Balkan region in 2018. As of 12 March, 3 442 measles cases, of which 1 778 were laboratory confirmed, were detected in Serbia and from Kosovo. In Serbia, the majority of cases were reported from Belgrade. Of all cases, 95% were unvaccinated or had unknown vaccination status.

Advice for Travellers

Travel may increase an individual’s risk of exposure to measles virus, and facilitate the spread of disease to unvaccinated and susceptible populations. Two doses of MMR vaccine, at least one month apart, are required to give adequate protection.

It should be confirmed that children have received their recommended doses of MMR at 12-13 months of age and again pre-school around 3 years 4 months. Unvaccinated adults who have not had measles themselves should seek advice from a healthcare professional regarding measles vaccination.

For further information see Measles.