On 6 April 2020, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) published its Measles Annual Epidemiological Report for 2018.
In 2018, 29 EU/EEA member states reported 17,822 cases of measles, of which 12,709 (71%) were laboratory confirmed. The overall notification rate was 34.4 cases per 1,000,000 of the population, similar to numbers reported in 2017 (35.5 cases), but higher than the rates in 2014 - 2016 (7.1 – 9.0 cases). Iceland was the only country to report no cases of measles during 2018. There were 37 reported deaths due to measles (case-fatality 0.2%), and over two-thirds of cases with data available for these outcomes were hospitalised or suffered complications.
Age specific notification rates decreased with increasing age, with unvaccinated children under one-year-old and aged one to four years most affected, while adults aged 20 years and above accounted for 36% of cases.
The report highlights that in order for the measles elimination goal to be reached, many countries need to make sustained improvements in the coverage of their routine childhood immunisation programmes and close the immunity gaps in adolescents and adults who have missed vaccination opportunities in the past.
Source: ECDC, 6 April 2020