In a follow-up on the measles outbreak in Italy, health officials have reported 1603 measles cases since the beginning of the year through Apr. 16, according to the Ministero della Salute today. Italy reported 840 cases in all of 2016 and only 250 in 2015.


Of this total, 88 percent, or more than 1400 cases were unvaccinated. One third of the cases suffered with at least one complication to measles. 152 cases were reported in health care workers.

Italy is just one of several European countries reporting measles outbreaks.

Symptoms of measles generally begin within 7-14 days after exposure. It starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and sore throat and is followed by a rash that spreads all over the body. It can also cause severe complications like pneumonia and encephalitis.

If people experience measles-like symptoms, they should see a health care provider. Those most at risk of being infected with the measles are people who have had no doses or only one dose of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine or who have not had the measles.

Measles vaccination is highly effective. Studies show more than 97 percent of people who receive two doses of vaccine are protected.

On Monday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel notice for Americans traveling to Italy.