A vaccination against measles has been offered through the National Immunisation Programme since 1976. Since then, the number of cases of measles has been low. A larger outbreak occurs in the Netherlands about once every 10–15 years. The most recent major outbreak of measles in the Netherlands was in 2013-2014. Since last year, the number of people in Europe infected with the measles virus has been rising sharply. There were many reported cases of measles in autumn 2023, especially in Eastern Europe.

Since early 2024, there have been 51 reported cases of measles in the Netherlands, mainly found in various clusters in the southern provinces of the country. People who contracted the measles virus this year included several migrant workers from Eastern Europe, but measles was also found in schoolchildren. The Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs) in those areas started source and contact tracing immediately after the cases were reported. Parents at the school that the children attended were notified by the GGD.

Another update will be posted on this page by the end of April.

Reported cases of measles by month in 2023 and 2024

The figure below shows reported cases of measles per month since January 2023. Case numbers are based on the available data up to 31 March 2024, and may still rise as reports come in. Case numbers from previous months may also still rise. This is because some reports are only received later.

Reported cases of measles, 1976–2024

The figure below shows reported cases of measles per year since 1976. The measles vaccine has been included in the National Immunisation Programme since 1976. Since it was introduced, there has been a very clear decrease in reported cases of measles, but a measles outbreak has occurred every 10–14 years. These major outbreaks primarily occur in areas with low vaccination coverage. The number of reported cases are significantly lower than the number of people who contract measles during a major outbreak. About 10% (1 in 10) infections were reported in the outbreak in 2013-2014.