Measles Outbreak in Germany
Since January 2006, two large, and apparently unlinked, measles outbreaks have been reported in Germany, one in South Germany, and the other in West Germany.
The outbreak in South Germany occurred in the greater Stuttgart area between January – March 2006. A total of 64 cases were reported. Most cases occurred among young unvaccinated children, between the ages of 1-9 years (77%).
The other outbreak is in the Northrhine-Westphalia region (West Germany). A total of 1,406 cases have been notified since January, particularly from cities of the Ruhr region and from the Lower Rhine region which borders the Netherlands. Most cases are children less than 9 years of age (40%) or older children/ teenagers aged 10-19 years (42%). An additional 17% of cases were among adults aged 20 years or older. Fifteen percent of cases have been hospitalised as a result of measles infection. This outbreak is on-going.
German health authorities are investigating and managing the outbreaks. In the affected regions, parents, care persons, doctors, schools and child care facilities have been alerted and reminded of the need for all children to be fully immunised with MMR.
Travellers to Germany
All individuals travelling to Germany from Ireland, and born after 1978, should ensure that they have been vaccinated against measles, preferably with 2 doses of measles containing vaccine such as MMR. Any individuals who develop rash illness following travel to Germany should seek medical attention.