Figures released by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) show that in June 2018, a total of 1,054 cases of measles were reported across 17 countries in the EU/EEA, a decrease from the 1,467 cases reported during the month of May. Five countries continued to report generally high case counts, but with a decreasing trend from the previous month: Italy (260), France (181), Greece (155), Germany (90) and the UK (89), none of which were in Scotland. Slovakia reported a marked increase with 72 cases, compared to 18 cases in May. Romania reported 111 cases, an increase from the 100 cases reported in May.
Looking at the situation over the past year (1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018), 13,234 cases of measles were reported across 29 EU/EEA member states. The highest number of cases were reported by Italy (3,341), Greece (3,193), France (2,740) and Romania (1,354), accounting respectively for 25%, 24%, 21% and 10% of all cases reported by EU/EEA countries.
Of 13,233 cases with known age, 3,924 (30%) were children less than five years of age, while 6,796 (51%) were aged 15 years or older.
Measles continues to spread across Europe because vaccination coverage in many countries is suboptimal. Only four EU/EEA countries reported figures of at least 95% vaccination coverage for both doses of measles-containing vaccine for 2017. If the goal of eliminating measles is to be reached, vaccination coverage for children and adults needs to increase in a number of countries.
The report, which also looks at levels of rubella for the same period, can be viewed on the ECDC website.
Source: ECDC, 13 August 2018