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Euro Surveill. 2013 May 16;18(20). pii: 20480.

Analysis of national measles surveillance data in Italy from October 2010 to December 2011 and priorities for reaching the 2015 measles elimination goal.

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Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Unit, National Institute of Health, Rome, Italy.


From 1 October 2010 to 31 December 2011, Italy experienced high measles burden with 5,568 measles cases (37.4% laboratory-confirmed) reported to the enhanced measles surveillance system (cumulative incidence in the 15-month reference period: 9.2/100,000 population). Adolescents and young adults were especially affected, and the median age of cases was 18 years. Most cases (95.8%) were either unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated. Complications were reported for 20.3% of cases, including 135 cases of pneumonia, seven of encephalitis and one case of Guillain–Barré syndrome. One death occurred in an immunocompromised adult. Over 1,300 cases were hospitalised. Identified priorities for reaching the measles elimination goal include evidence-based interventions such as reminder/recall for both doses of measles vaccine, supplementary immunisation activities aimed at susceptible age cohorts, and vaccinating healthcare workers.

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