EU and EEA countries only meet measles elimination target by half

The European Center of Disease Prevention and Control reported on Wednesday that 14 out of the 30 reporting EU and EEA countries met the elimination target of less than one case of measles per million population.

The ECDC is a EU agency that was established in 2005 and is seated in Stockholm, Sweden. It seeks to strengthening Europe's defenses against infectious disease.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that is spread by coughing and sneezing. Initial symptoms could come in the forms of watery eyes, fever, running nose and a cough.

Later, a rash appears on the head and will spread over the entire body. Measles is serious because it can lead to pneumonia and other complications. A vaccine, however, is available for people in order to protect against the disease.

The ECDC report showed that 8,127 cases of measles were reported during the past twelve months, with the most notifications coming from infants under one year of age. The number of cases reported in March 2013 was about half of the number reported in March 2012.

The report also covered the current numbers on rubella. Nineteen out of 25 reporting countries met the elimination target of less than one case per million population.