Measles outbreaks in Europe – check before travelling
Measles outbreaks are becoming common in Europe and other parts of the world. Check which countries have outbreaks and ensure vaccination before departure, especially if you have young children.
This year, there were approximately 500 measles cases in Europe in January alone. There have been many cases in Romania and Italy.
Which countries have measles outbreaks?
The European Communicable Diseases Centre (ECDC) is monitoring the situation and regularly reports notified cases of measles and rubella, both within and outside Europe.
Updated information with an overview of reported cases in different countries is available on the ECDC's website:
- Epidemiological update: Measles - monitoring European outbreaks (ECDC)
- Measles surveillance data (ECDC)
Vaccine against measles
The MMR vaccine protects against measles, rubella and mumps. All children in Norway are offered the MMR vaccine as part of the Childhood Immunisation Programme. Vaccination consists of one dose at 15 months of age and a second dose at 11 years of age (6th grade).
In some cases, such as when travelling to countries where there are measles outbreaks, it may be necessary to bring forward vaccination.
In general, it is often recommended to bring forward vaccination when travelling to countries with a high incidence of measles and low vaccination coverage, both within and outside Europe.
If you are in doubt, contact your public health clinic (helsestasjon).
When two doses are given in childhood, the MMR vaccine gives lifelong protection.
The measles vaccine was introduced in Norway in 1969. Adults who are unsure if they have had the measles or MMR vaccines, or who have not had measles are recommended to take the MMR vaccine.
People born before 1960 are likely to have had measles so the MMR vaccine is usually unnecessary.