18.02.20 Measles in Europe

February 20, 2018

Measles Outbreak Europe

400% Increase In Cases

“…a tragedy we simply cannot accept.’

Dr. Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, Feb 19, 2018

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Why This Matters

  • Measles is a highly contagious and potentially deadly disease.
  • Unlike some deadly diseases, an effective vaccine is available.
  • Two doses of vaccine is about 97% effective, according to CDC.
  • Notable: 2017 spike in measles cases came after a record low year of cases in 2016.


Why Is This Happening?

“The spread of measles across Europe is due to suboptimal vaccination coverage in many EU/EEA countries.”

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Jan 12, 2018

4 Reasons For Measles EU Outbreak

  • Overall decline in immunizations
  • Interruptions in vaccine supply
  • Poor disease surveillance systems
  • Low rates of vaccination among “marginalized groups” (WHO does not specfically define this group)

The Data: Measles in Europe

2017: 21,315 cases & 35 deaths

2016: 5,273 cases *record low*A & 13 deaths

1 in 4 European countries with large outbreaks (100+ cases)

Top Three Countries Impacted: Romania, Italy & Ukraine

U.S. Measles Cases

What You Should Know

  • In January, there wereA 9 measles cases inA 4 states: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, & Texas.
  • 118 cases nationwide in 2017.
  • In 2000, U.S. declared measles “eliminated” (no major transmissions of disease for at least a year) due to a highly effective vaccination program.

Ease of travel, under vaccinated communities – all potential factors in spread of measles. Read More:

by Jenna Lee,