Vaccination rates in Romania declined nearly 20 percentage points in the last decade, from 96 percent in 2006 to 76 percent in 2016.
There were 21,315 people hit by disease on the continent past year, four times the 5,273 affected in 2016. Had MMR vaccination levels exceeded 95 per cent of the target population, measles may well have been eradicated by now.
Although much of the European measles resurgence was caused by anti-vaccination sentiments, a smaller portion is the result of unvaccinated migrants. Anyone can develop measles, but it's more likely to affect young children, especially those who are poorly nourished.
Ministers of health of 11 countries will meet on 20 February 2018 to discuss working together to achieve the goals set out in the European Vaccine Action Plan (EVAP) by 2020, including measles and rubella elimination. His controversial views have since been widely discredited.
Some 15 European countries experienced serious outbreaks of measles previous year, but the worst affected were Romania, with 5,562 cases, Italy with 5,006 and Ukraine with 4,767. Italy also experienced a severe outbreak with 5,006 cases in 2017 compared to 843 the year before.
The Copenhagen-based agency said large outbreaks of the disease - defined as 100 or more cases - affected 15 of the 53 countries in the region, according to RFE/RL. The WHO, however, said outbreaks will continue to occur until every child and adult is protected with an MMR vaccine.
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Other countries with large outbreaks in 2017 were Greece (967 cases), Germany (927), France (520), Belgium (369), Britain (282), Bulgaria (167), Spain (152), Czech Republic (146), and Switzerland (105).
All of these were in the final months of the year.
The WHO Regional Office for Europe has released new data for 2017 ahead of a health ministerial meeting on immunisation in Montenegro on Tuesday.
Measles is a very contagious viral infection that causes a rash over the entire body. "And parents sending their children to school after that age without vaccinating them first will now face fines of up to $8,380".
A measles vaccine, such as the one shown here from a Los Angeles clinic, is highly effective in preventing the spread of measles.