Measles Outbreak in Romania: ECDC Risk Assessment and Vaccination Coverage Update

December 9, 2023

ECDC risk assessment on the current outbreak of measles in Romania.

Between January 1 and December 1, 2023, 1,855 cases confirmed and no deaths in 29 counties, including the municipality of Bucharest. Most cases have been reported in County Mures (n=628), Brasov (n=339) and Bucharest (n=213). The vast majority of cases occur in unvaccinated children aged 0 to 9 years (69.7%, n=1,293), including 224 children under one year of age (12%). In total, 102 cases had received one dose and 51 two doses of vaccination. Vaccination status was unknown in 41 cases. The peak of the current outbreak, with around 170 cases, was recorded in week 44, but delays in reporting cannot be excluded.

Reported numbers of measles cases decreased significantly during the pandemic, but the situation appears to be returning to pre-pandemic levels, possibly due to the progressive decline in MMR vaccine coverage year on year and the accumulation of susceptible people . According to the Ministry of Health, vaccination coverage for 2023 with the first dose of MCV at the national level is 78% and the second dose is 62%. Vaccination coverage has been declining over the last decade in Romania.

Given the size of the current outbreak in Romania, historical trends, and vaccination coverage for the first and second doses of MCV below 95%, there is a high risk of continued measles transmission within Romania.

In addition to the direct impact on morbidity, mortality and long-term sequelae in the Romanian population, the current outbreak will lead to a repeated export of cases to other EU/EEA countries, with an increased risk of outbreaks, particularly where coverage vaccination is not optimal. Response efforts continue in Romania and should help ensure that groups of susceptible people are adequately vaccinated. Given the announcement of the epidemic, the Romanian authorities have paved the way for vaccination against measles starting in nine months. This is an important outbreak response measure to protect very young children, who are most at risk of serious complications.


Local risks Romania

More information about measles in Romania

The country has seen an alarming increase in cases in 2016. Situation report:

2023. November 23 1394 cases; September 28 778 cases; September. From October 2022 to the end of July 2023, 460 cases were confirmed
2022. Vaccine coverage in the country in 2022 is 83% with one dose and 71% with 2.
2019. September

2023-12-09 22:28:25
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