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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Measles Outbreak in Italy

28 Mar 2017

On the 27 march 2017 the media reported that the number of measles cases in Italy has significantly increased this year and attributed this to parents resistance to vaccination against this disease.

The Italian Ministry of Health is said to have reported 700 cases during the first three months of 2017, whilst only 844 cases were reported in the entire of 2016. Most cases are aged between 15 to 39 years old and live in developed cities such as Turin, Rome, Milan and Florence.

The last major outbreak recorded in Italy was in 2002 where over 18 000 were infected and 15 people died.

Advice for Travellers

Young people who missed their MMR vaccines as children are vulnerable. It should be confirmed that children and young people have received their recommended doses of MMR at 12-13 months of age and again pre-school around 3 years 4 months. Unimmunised adults who have not had the disease themselves should consider vaccination if thought to be at risk.

Two doses of MMR vaccine are required to give adequate protection.