STOCKHOLM, March 7 (Xinhua) -- An ongoing outbreak of measles in Romania is likely to spread in EU/EEA countries, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said on Tuesday.
In a risk assessment on the measles outbreak in Romania, ECDC said that "considering the size and geographical spread of the ongoing measles outbreak in Romania, the likelihood of exportation of measles cases is high."
From the end of September 2016 to Feb. 17, 2017, the Romanian National Institute of Public Health received reports of 3,071 cases of measles. Cases continue to be reported despite ongoing response measures at national level through reinforced vaccination activities.
In 2016, measles outbreaks were seen in a number of EU/EEA countries and an increase in the number of cases continues to be observed in 2017. Previous and ongoing measles outbreaks in three other EU countries have been epidemiologically-linked to the current outbreak in Romania. However, further investigations are needed to gain more insights into the epidemiological links.
Immunization is the only effective preventive measure against acquiring measles. Given that the vaccination coverage target is still to be reached in a number of EU/EEA countries, the risk of spread and sustained transmission from areas where measles transmission is occurring in areas with susceptible populations is high.
The ECDC, headquartered in the Swedish capital since 2005, works with health authorities across Europe to fight infectious diseases.