WHO: European Region – Update on measles and rubella, polio

WHO Epidemiological Brief 23: European Region – Update on measles and rubella, regional and global polio outbreak status

Measles and rubella
Incomplete reporting makes it difficult to provide an accurate number of measles cases for 2012, thus far. The officially reported number of cases (4 463) is much lower than the actual number, with the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, for example, reporting nearly 8 000 cases on its web site. Romania continues to report the highest number of rubella cases in the Region, as it faces an ongoing outbreak.

The European Region has retained its polio-free status after a 2010 polio outbreak, but remains at risk of the poliovirus importation while polio is still endemic in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan. A recent outbreak in China, which is no longer considered active, offers a sobering illustration of this risk.  Consequently, it is critical to maintain high quality AFP, enterovirus and environmental surveillance in the Region to ensure early detection of wild poliovirus importation.