Measles in Ireland and Europe: Challenges to elimination


Measles outbreaks are widespread in Europe at the moment. Although the large measles outbreak that occurred in Ireland last year has abated, HPSC is aware that measles is still circulating in the community, with four individuals diagnosed with laboratory confirmed measles this year so far and others under investigation. Both children and adults have been affected with measles.

The risk of getting measles is also present in other countries of Europe. Large measles outbreaks are occurring in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Turkey recently reported an outbreak in Istanbul, in addition to cases linked to a large outbreak in Bulgaria in 2010. In addition, small outbreaks have occurred in the Russian Federation (in Krasnoyarsk and Tomsk), linked to Uzbekistan.

Updated information on the measles situation in Europe is available here


  • Measles is highly infectious. Individuals without immunity to measles can be infected with measles without even knowing that they were in contact with somebody who was infectious (e.g. in a public area)
  • Measles can be prevented by vaccination with the MMR vaccine
  • All children need two doses of MMR vaccine; at 12-15 months and at age 4-5 years
  • Older children and young adults who have not received at least two doses of MMR, or are unsure if they were vaccinated should contact their GP for this vaccine
  • Further details on measles can be found on the HPSC website

Or the National Immunisation Office at