On 17 April 2019, 20 cases of measles were reported in the Netherlands. In recent years, between 10 and 20 cases of measles were reported per year. In 2018, the number of measles cases in the Netherlands was 24.
In the Netherlands, a measles epidemic occurred from May 2013 until March 2014 in municipalities with low vaccine coverage (below 90 per cent) against measles. Many of the people living in these areas belong to the Dutch Orthodox Reformed Church. For religious reasons, they do not have their children vaccinated. 2,700 patients with measles have been reported. Because not everyone who had measles went to the doctor, the actual number of patients, however, was much higher. During the epidemic, 182 children were hospitalised and one child deceased from complications of measles. Children aged 6 months with an increased risk of being infected with measles were provided complementary vaccination against measles. This applied only to children who lived in communities with low vaccine coverage.
In the Netherlands, we expect a major epidemic once every 10 to 15 years. Because someone who has had measles is protected against the disease for the rest of their lives, we do not expect a major epidemic (yet).