Published: 06.10.05 Updated: 07.10.2005 09:13:14
Hans Blystad, Lars Blad, Johan Giesecke, Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Sweden, the Steering Group of the Project Building a Network for Infections Disease Surveillance in the Baltic Sea Region
Measles is a notifiable disease in all the countries in the region.
Measles vaccination was introduced in the region in the early 1970s. Due to very high immunisation coverage in the entire region with the exception of Germany, measles has for many years been a rare disease in the region. Sporadic cases are, however still reported. In the Nordic countries small outbreaks have been reported in groups of non-vaccinated children. Germany has for many years had a much higher incidence of measles due to inadequate immunisation coverage.
Non-immune children living in communities where general opposition to vaccination is widespread are at special risk if a case of measles is introduced in the community.
Vaccination with a measles mono-vaccine or as a part of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, is the best measure to prevent sporadic cases and outbreaks of measles. Measles vaccine is a part of the national immunisation programme in all the countries in the region. Except for Russia, all countries in the region use the MMR-vaccine. High immunisation coverage has been achieved in the entire region, except for Germany.