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During the pre vaccine era around 100 deaths were seen annually in the UK but since the introduction of MMR vaccine in 1988 the disease has become relatively rare (1) (only one death from acute measles in a 13 year old child have been reported since 1992) (2).

Recently an increase in measles cases has been reported in UK with the first mortality reported (in 2006) since 1992 (1). This has been due to a failure of uptake of vaccination over the past decade (3).

Mortality due to measles is age related

  • mortality is highest in children under one year and lowest in children aged between 1 to 9 years
  • again the it rises with advancing age (2)

Globally there were 164 000 measles deaths out of which 95% occurred in low-income countries (4)


Last reviewed 01/2018