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Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz. 2013 Sep;56(9):1231-7. doi: 10.1007/s00103-013-1799-x.

[Hot spot: epidemiology of measles and rubella in Germany and the WHO European region].

[Article in German]

Author information

Fachgebiet Impfprävention, Robert Koch-Institut, DGZ-Ring 1, 13086, Berlin, Deutschland.


The elimination of measles and rubella by 2015 is an important goal set by the World Health Organization European Region (WHO/Europa). Since 1991, the incidence of measles in WHO/Europa declined owing to routine childhood vaccination and supplementary immunization activities in the region. However, in many countries of Western Europe elimination of measles and rubella remains a challenge, and every year there are outbreaks with partly long-lasting transmission chains and dissemination of the virus internationally. In Germany, outbreaks occur because of the high proportion of susceptible individuals in specific population groups. In 2011, over 1,600 cases were reported (19.7 per 1,000,000 inhabitants, data from the Robert Koch Institute) whereas in 2012 only 167 cases were reported to the Robert Koch Institute (2 per 1,000,000 inhabitants). It is unclear whether the declining trend will continue in the following years due to improved vaccination coverage or whether number of cases will rise again because of the accumulation of susceptible groups. In Germany, there are currently no representative, country-wide data on rubella; however, data from the eastern federal states provide important epidemiological insights. Outbreaks are seldom reported, but statutory notification of rubella and congenital rubella syndrome was implemented in March 2013. As a result, it will be possible to better assess the epidemiology of rubella in Germany, although a considerable underreporting of rubella cases is anticipated.

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