UK is one of four EU countries to lose measles elimination status

Simon Collins, HIV i-Base

On 29 August 2019, the WHO European Region issued a statement noting the decline in the number of countries that have achieved or sustained elimination status for measles. [1]

Results are from the European Regional Verification Commission (RVC) for Measles and Rubella Elimination (RVC) based on an assessment of annual status updates for 2018 submitted by the 53 Member States of the Region.

For the first time since 2012, the RVC has reported that four countries lost their measles elimination status: the UK, Albania, the Czech Republic and Greece. [2]

As of the end of 2018, 35 countries in the EU have achieved or sustained measles elimination (compared to 37 for 2017). Two countries have interrupted the endemic transmission of measles (for 12–35 months), 12 remain endemic for measles and four that had previously eliminated the disease have re-established measles transmission.

The increases in cases in 2018 continued into 2019, with approximately 90,000 cases reported for the first half of the year. This is already more than that recorded for the whole of 2018 (84,462).


  1. WHO.European Region loses ground in effort to eliminate measles. (29 August 2019).
  2. WHO.Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination (RVC).

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