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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2003 Oct 31;52(43):1044-7.

Measles epidemic attributed to inadequate vaccination coverage--Campania, Italy, 2002.


In Italy, measles has been a mandatory reportable disease for >100 years. During the prevaccination era, approximately 25,000-90,000 cases were reported annually. During the late 1980s and 1990s, incidence declined with increasing measles vaccination coverage, but measles epidemics continued to occur periodically, most recently during 1995-1997. In early 2002, measles incidence increased sharply; the area most affected was Campania (2001 population: approximately 5,782,000, including 1,100,000 children aged <15 years), a large region in southern Italy. In 2001, estimated measles vaccination coverage for the 1998 Campania birth cohort was 65%. Regional health authorities and the National Institute of Health investigated the measles outbreak in Campania. This report summarizes the preliminary results of the investigation, which attributed the epidemic to inadequate vaccination coverage. A coordinated effort is needed to interrupt measles transmission in Italy.

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