Press release

Measles Outbreak in Romania – a Wake-up Call for Europe

11 May 2017 – Currently Romania is experiencing the largest measles outbreak in the European Union with 4.800 measles cases and 24 deaths as of 30 April 2017. This should be a wake up call for all European countries.

The European Institute of Women’s Health has long warned about the dangers of vaccine hesitancy in the European population. Romania has become a country with a growing anti-vaccination movement which now is endangering not only their own country’s children but also having the potential to infect others across its borders in countries where there is low vaccination coverage.

Measles are transmitted through a highly contagious virus that spreads through direct contact and through the air. It can be prevented through vaccination. According to WHO, due to gaps in vaccination, measles remain one of the biggest killers of children worldwide. The European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention recommends measles coverage of above 95 % of the population with 2 doses to prevent measles from spreading.

Europe has safe and effective vaccines available to prevent a measles outbreak from happening in the first place. Therefore it is all the more shocking that these resources are not used. Vaccine opponents, spreading mistrust about the dangers of vaccination, have much to answer for. We call on the cooperation of parents and all of society to support vaccination against infectious diseases.

For more information please contact:

Peggy Maguire, EIWH Director General,  +353 86 822 55 76

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