It is the first death from measles since the disease broke out in communities in southern and central regions of the Netherlands, where many families refuse to take part in vaccination programmes out of religious conviction.

Since May just over 2,000 people have been diagnosed with measles, of whom 121 have needed hospital treatment. Half of the most serious patients suffered inflammation of the lung.

Health officials say the true number of infections is almost certainly higher because many mild cases will not have been reported to family doctors.