Research and analysis

Measles deaths by age group: 1980 to 2013 (ONS data)

Published 10 January 2014
Year under 1 year 1 to 4 years 5 to 9 years 10 to 14 years 15 plus years Total
1980 3 15 3 2 3 26
1981 3 5 4 1 2 15
1982 1 5 1 2 4 13
1983 2 10 2 2 16
1984 1 2 1 6 10
1985 3 4 2 2 11
1986 2 3 2 3 10
1987 1 1 2 2 6
1988 1 8 3 3 1 16
1989 2 1 3
1990 1 1
1991 1 1
1992 1 1 2
1993 4 4
1994 0
1995 1 1
1996 0
1997 3 3
1998 3 3
1999 1 2 3
2000 1 1
2001 1 1
2002 1* 1*
2003 0
2004 1 1
2005 0
2006 1 1
2007 1 1
2008 2 2
2009 - - - 1 - 1
2010 - - - - - 0
2011 - - - - 1 1
2012 - - - - 1 1
2013** - - - - 1 1

*Reported by ONS as measles but known not to be measles infection

**Provisional data.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Prior to 2006, the last death from acute measles was in 1992. In 2006, there was 1 measles death in a 13-year-old male who had an underlying lung condition and was taking immunosuppressive drugs. Another death in 2008 was also due to acute measles in an unvaccinated child with a congenital immunodeficiency, whose condition did not require treatment with immunoglobulin. In 2013, 1 death was reported in a 25-year-old man following acute pneumonia as a complication of measles.

All other measles deaths since 1992 shown above are in older individuals and were caused by the late effects of measles. These infections were acquired during the 1980s or earlier, when epidemics of measles occurred.