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expert reaction to report on elimination of measles and rubella in the US

JAMA Pediatrics published a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcing the elimination of measles, rubella and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) from the United States was sustained through 2011.


Professor Adam Finn, Professor of Paediatrics, Schools of Clinical Sciences & Cellular & Molecular Medicine, University of Bristol, said:

“The story here is the contrast between the US and the UK/Europe. Measles outbreaks in Europe are not confined to the UK, and the European region both has and is a big problem. Also, it’s not just measles. A big rubella outbreak in Poland this year raises the spectre of more congenital rubella cases.

“These are problems with solutions which are not being effectively used – everyone is part of the problem and the solution but there’s a bit of a tendency for one group to blame another.”


Joff McGill, Director of Information, Advice and Research, SENSE, said:

“Sense welcomes the news that the elimination of rubella and CRS has been maintained in the Americas. There is now a wealth of evidence that we have to tools to prevent diseases that cause serious illness, lifelong disability and death – we just have to use them. Outbreaks of both measles and rubella in a number of European countries show just how far we have to go.

“What is needed is increased political commitment, co-ordinated action by public health bodies and highlighting the impact of measles and rubella have on individuals, families and communities. Only then can we maintain high levels of vaccination, monitor the diseases, prepare for outbreaks, and build public confidence to overcome any hesitancy to vaccinate.”


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