WHO Epidemiological Brief 16: Measles outbreaks, rotavirus surveillance and response to importation of wild poliovirus



Measles outbreaks 

For the period January – June 2011, of the 49 countries in the European Region that reported measles data, 39 countries reported a total of 24 493 cases of measles. Due to spread from countries that are experiencing large measles outbreaks, countries that have been measles‐free for many years are now challenged with re-occurrence of the disease.

Rotavirus surveillance 

In 2010, through the WHO/Europe established sentinel surveillance network for rotavirus in six countries, 6 207 children with acute diarrhoea were enrolled and tested for rotavirus. Of these, 2 337 (38%) were rotavirus positive. This proportion on a country‐level ranged from 27% (Azerbaijan) to 48% (Ukraine). The proportion of children who were rotavirus positive increased from 24% among infants aged 0‐5 months to 45% among children aged 12‐59 months. Based on these data, it is evident that rotavirus accounts for a substantial proportion of diarrhoea hospitalizations in all countries within the WHO/Europe network.

Importation of wild poliovirus and response

As part of the continued response to the wild poliovirus outbreak in 2010, seven Member States conducted synchronized supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) between February and June 2011. The European Regional Certification Commission for Poliomyelitis Eradication met in Copenhagen 23‐24 August 2011 and decided that the Region will maintain its polio‐free status.