In a follow-up on the measles outbreak in Italy this year, the number of cases reported to date in 2017 already surpasses the total number reported in the country in all of 2016.


According to the latest bulletin of the Higher Institute of Health (ISS) via Italian media (computer translated), 1,010 individuals contracted the disease in the country this year, while in all of 2016 there were 844 infections.

The massive increase in measles has been blamed on the growing number of people who do not believe in vaccination.

Of this total, 90% of the patients were not vaccinated. The balance still indicates that 57% of cases occurred in the age range between 15 and 39 years, while 6% reached babies under one year, that is, when the vaccine can not yet be administered.

Last January, the government of Italy and the country’s 20 regions reached an agreement to sponsor a new law that would make vaccination compulsory nationwide. The program would include diseases such as measles, tetanus, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, HPV, diphtheria, pertussis, mumps and meningitis.

However, the bill still needs to be passed by Parliament.

Measles, also called rubeola, is a very contagious viral infection. Measles spreads when a person infected with measles virus breathes, coughs, or sneezes. The virus can still be on surfaces and in the air up to 2 hours after that person is gone from a room. Measles still spreads in some parts of the world.

It usually takes 10 to 14 days for someone who has caught measles to start showing symptoms.

Measles usually begins with a high fever, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes, followed by a rash starting behind the ears and spreading to the body a few days later. One in three people with measles will develop complications, such as ear infections, pneumonia, diarrhea or rarely inflammation of the brain.