Italian health officials reported this week ( computer translated) that the measles outbreak in the port city of Bari is now under control.
The first epidemiological data reported by the Observatory of the Puglia region shows that the infection started from the same family unit, two unvaccinated 8 and 13 year old brothers, followed by a 22-year-old cousin. The subsequent hospitalization of the subjects involved the contagion of 4 other people: two children of a few months, a 20-year-old security guard and a 43-year-old mother.
The eighth case reported in these hours is completely isolated and concerns a woman of 38 years.
The outbreak occurred despite excellent rates of vaccination coverage of Puglia (95% at 36 months, value judged ideal by the WHO).
The Bari outbreak comes as Italian health ministers declared a ‘measles emergency’ and plan to vaccinate 800,000 children as well as healthcare workers. The measles prevention plan that would keep obligatory vaccinations in place for 0-16 year olds, as well as aiming to vaccinate people aged up to 30-35.
“On measles we can not lower our guard. A few months ago the WHO called us back precisely on the vaccination coverage data that are still too low. It is necessary to reach more susceptible individuals by offering the vaccine to adolescents and young people, who remain the most vulnerable to infection, and at the same time to implement standardized and timely actions to prevent transmission in environments with greater epidemic risk “, the Minister of Health, Giulia Grillo said (computer translated).
Italy has reported 2,599 measles cases through September 2018.