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Measles and rubella eradicated in US leaving Europe lagging

Measles and rubella have been eliminated from the US suggests a study published today in JAMA Paediatrics emphasising how big the problem remains in the UK, according to a leading paediatrician. 

US researchers used the US national report on measles and rubella, following up on initial verification of the elimination of measles in 2000 and and of rubella in 2004.  

According to the researchers, reported measles incidence in the U.S. has remained below 1 case per 1 million population since 2001; rubella incidence has been below 1 case per 10 million population since 2004; and congentical rubella syndrome incidence has been below 1 case per 5 million births. The report also indicates that 88 percent of measles cases and 54 percent of rubella cases were internationally imported or linked to importation.

However, Professor Adam Finn commented that ‘the story here is the contrast between the US and the UK/Europe. Measles outbreaks in Europe are not confined to the UK, and the European region both has and is a big problem.

Also, it’s not just measles. A big rubella outbreak in Poland this year raises the spectre of more congenital rubella cases.’These are problems with solutions which are not being effectively used – everyone is part of the problem and the solution but there’s a bit of a tendency for one group to blame another’.

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