In a follow-up on the measles outbreaks among several countries in Europe, European health officials say outbreaks continue to occur in EU/EEA countries, and there is the risk of spread and sustained transmission in areas with susceptible populations.
The countries hardest hit are Romania and Italy. Poor vaccination coverage is huge problem.
Between 1 January 2016 and 31 March 2017, Romania reported 4,025 cases of measles, including 18 deaths. Cases are either laboratory-confirmed or have an epidemiological link to a laboratory-confirmed case. Infants and young children are the most affected population.
In Romania, 37 of the 42 districts report cases. The most affected is Caras Severin in the west part of the country, at the border with Serbia, with 854 cases. Vaccination activities are ongoing in order to cover communities with suboptimal vaccination coverage.
Some of the previous and ongoing measles outbreaks in other EU countries have been epidemiologically linked to the current outbreak in Romania.
Since the beginning of 2017 and as of 4 April 2017, Italy reported 1,333 cases of measles, with 131 cases among healthcare workers. The cases are reported from 19 of the 21 regions in Italy. A majority of the cases (93%) are from Piedmont, Lazio, Lombardy, Tuscany, Abruzzi and Sicily. Most of the cases are above 15 years and 88% of the cases were not vaccinated.
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