In its new monthly measles and rubella monitoring report, which covers 1 February 2018 to 31 January 2019, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control reports that case numbers of the diseases are on the increase.
According to the report, 29 countries reported measles data for January 2019, with 881 cases reported by 19 countries and 10 countries reporting no cases. Case numbers were found to have increased compared with the previous two months. The highest case counts were in Romania (261), Italy (165), Poland (133) and France (124), while the most notable increases occurred in Italy, Poland, France and Austria. Italy reported 165 cases in January, compared with 76 in December and 58 in November, Poland reported 133 cases in January, compared with 114 in December and 79 in November, France reported 124 cases in January, compared with 54 in December and 61 in November, and Austria reported 25 cases in January, compared with one in December and four in November.
Between 1 February 2018 and 31 January 2019, 30 EU/EEA Member States reported 12,266 cases of measles. The highest number of cases were reported by France (2,800), Italy (2,632), Greece (1,862), Romania (1,247), the UK (941), Slovakia (614) and Germany (516).
In January 2019, the report states, 27 countries reported rubella data. Fifty-six cases were reported by four countries (Spain, Italy, Poland and Portugal) and 23 countries reported no cases. Overall, case numbers continued to increase compared with the previous two months and 47 of the 56 cases (84 per cent) were reported by Poland.
Between 1 February 2018 and 31 January 2019, 13 EU/EEA Member States reported 584 cases of rubella. The highest number of cases were reported by Poland (461), Germany (53), Italy (22) and Spain (19).
Measles is spread by airborne or droplet transmission and to avoid infection travellers should ensure they are up to date with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination.