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Public Health
News announcement16 February 2024Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety1 min read

Increasing measles cases call for coordinated public health response

Against the backdrop of measles outbreaks in several EU countries, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has today published a threat assessment brief. According to the report, an increased number of cases in the European Region is particularly concerning for areas where there are low levels of vaccination coverage and pockets of unvaccinated people. Infants under 12 months old who are too young to be immunised are the biggest risk group, with unvaccinated children under 5 years old and immunocompromised children and adults at higher risk of severe disease and increased mortality.

To interrupt transmission of this very contagious disease, it is necessary to vaccinate 95% or more of the population with two doses of the vaccine. The ECDC encourages public health authorities to maintain a high vaccination coverage, ensure capacities for surveillance, early detection, diagnosis and control of outbreaks, as well as increased awareness of health professionals and the public.

Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “The rising trend in measles cases across Europe is worrying. This is an extremely contagious disease which can cause serious complications, particularly for children and vulnerable persons. The good news is that it is a disease which is preventable through vaccination and that there are plenty of safe and effective vaccines available in the EU. When we see measles outbreaks, we know there is a gap in vaccinations. I urge everyone to check their vaccination status and parents to make sure their children and young person’s vaccines are up to date. Vaccination protects and saves lives, it is one of our strongest tools against measles and many other infectious diseases.”


Publication date
16 February 2024
Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety