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Euro Surveill. 2017 Sep 14;22(37). pii: 30614. doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2017.22.37.30614.

Ongoing outbreak with well over 4,000 measles cases in Italy from January to end August 2017 - what is making elimination so difficult?

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.
These authors contributed equally to this article and share first authorship.
National Reference Laboratory for Measles and Rubella, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.


We report an ongoing measles outbreak in Italy, with over 4,400 cases reported in 20 Regions from January to August 2017. Median age was 27 years, 88% of the cases were unvaccinated. The highest incidence was in infants below one year of age and 7% of cases occurred among healthcare workers. Three deaths occurred and two cases of encephalitis were reported. Wide immunity gaps and nosocomial transmission are major challenges to measles elimination in Italy.


Italy; air-borne infections; epidemiology; measles; measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine; surveillance; viral infections

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