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Still many measles outbreaks in Germany

The Robert Koch Institute is looking forward to support the 10th European Immunization Week running from Monday 20th to Saturday 25th April, 2015. The event is a great opportunity to bring the topic of closing the immunization gap into focus.

This is especially relevant to Germany where several measles outbreaks are ongoing at the moment. In 2014, 443 measles cases were submitted to the Robert Koch Institute. From January to April 2015 alone, however, the number has increased to more than 1,300 cases, most of them occurring in the federal states of Berlin, Brandenburg and Saxony. These numbers clearly show that the elimination of measles in Germany will not be achieved in 2015.

There are many reasons for this sharp increase. Immunization gaps are still a major problem in all age groups. Young children are getting vaccinated too late and not according to the recommendations of the German Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO). And those too young for immunization are not properly protected due to immunization gaps in the older age groups. Another reason is ignorance: Too many people still don’t know they should be vaccinated against measles, especially young adults. In 2014, 40 per cent of the measles patients were over 20 years old. These age groups have a higher risk of developing measles complications.

Date: 17.04.2015


Ebola virus disease (EVD)

Electron microscopy of Ebola viruses (coloured). Source: Hans Gelderblom/RKI

The Robert Koch Institute gives recommendations for doctors and public health experts dealing with Ebola virus disease (EVD). Key documents are also provided in English.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Scanning electron microscopy. Bar = 1 µm. Quelle: Gudrun Holland 2013/RKI

The Robert Koch Institute provides online information on tuberculosis.

International activities

Bacillus anthracis. Source: RKI

The Robert Koch Institute participates in large European research projects and co-operations in the fields of prevention of infections as well as health monitoring, for example REACT or EHES.

Course offering on biological hazards

Electron microscope. Source: RKI

The Robert Koch Institute offers international courses and workshops on biological hazards.

German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults

Logo of the German Health Study for Adults (DEGS). Source: © RKI

The Robert Koch-Institute regularly conducts and publishes the “German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults”, an on-going assessment and analysis of the health condition of the German adult population.