Intended for healthcare professionals


Measles cases in Europe tripled from 2017 to 2018

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 07 February 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l634
  1. Jacqui Thornton
  1. London, UK

More than 80 000 people in 47 of 53 European countries contracted measles in 2018, with 72 deaths, the World Health Organization has said.1 In countries reporting hospitalisation data 61% of patients with measles were admitted to hospital.2

The total number of people infected with the virus in 2018 was the highest this decade,1 three times the total reported in 2017 (23 927 cases) and 15 times the record low recorded in 2016 (5273 cases).3

Despite more children in the WHO European region being vaccinated against the disease than ever before, progress on vaccination is uneven between and within countries. This leaves clusters of susceptible people unprotected, particularly …

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