Research and analysis

Measles notifications and deaths in England and Wales: 1940 to 2013

Published 10 January 2014
Year Notifications Total Deaths
1940 409,521 857
1941 409,715 1,145
1942 286,341 458
1943 376,104 773
1944 158,479 243
1945 446,796 729
1946 160,402 204
1947 393,787 644
1948 399,606 327
1949 385,935 307
1950 367,725 221
1951 616,182 317
1952 389,502 141
1953 545,050 242
1954 146,995 45
1955 693,803 174
1956 160,556 28
1957 633,678 94
1958 259,308 49
1959 539,524 98
1960 159,364 31
1961 763,531 152
1962 184,895 39
1963 601,255 127
1964 306,801 73
1965 502,209 115
1966 343,642 80
1967 460,407 99
1968 236,154 51
1969 142,111 36
1970 307,408 42
1971 135,241 28
1972 145,916 29
1973 152,578 33
1974 109,636 20
1975 143,072 16
1976 55,502 14
1977 173,361 23
1978 124,067 20
1979 77,363 17
1980 139,487 26
1981 52,979 15
1982 94,195 13
1983 103,700 16
1984 62,079 10
1985 97,408 11
1986 82,054 10
1987 42,158 6
1988 86,001 16
1989 26,222 3
1990 13,302 1
1991 9,680 1
1992 10,268 2
1993 9,612 4
1994 16,375 0
1995 7,447 1
1996 5,614 0
1997 3,962 3
1998 3,728 3
1999 2,438 3
2000 2,378 1
2001 2,250 1
2002 3,232 1*
2003 2,488 0
2004 2,356 1
2005 2,089 0
2006 3,705 1
2007 3,670 1
2008 5,088 2
2009 5,191 1
2010 2,235 0
2011 2,355 1
2012 4,210 1
2013** 6,102 1

*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.