Via The Guardian: Italy experiencing measles epidemic after fall-off in vaccinations. Excerpt:
Italy has announced that it is experiencing a measles epidemic following a fall-off in vaccinations, as the United States issued a warning to visitors about the outbreak of the potentially fatal disease.
The Italian health ministry said on Wednesday there had been almost 1,500 registered cases of measles so far this year against some 840 in all of 2016 and some 250 in 2015.
“Italy and Romania have an epidemic at the moment,” said Walter Ricciardi, president of the Higher Health Institute, adding that he understood why the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an advisory this week.
Ricciardi told Radio 24 that unlike in Italy, the United States had launched a large campaign to convince parents to vaccinate their children.
The Higher Health Institute says only around 85% of two-year-olds are being vaccinated against measles at present, well below the 95% threshold recommended by the World Health Organisation to block the illness.
The centre-left government has accused the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) of spreading concern among parents by questioning the safety of some vaccines and by loudly denouncing efforts to make vaccinations mandatory.
“Vaccinations have played a vital role in eradicating terrible illnesses … but nonetheless, they bring a risk associated with side-effects,” the M5S founder Beppe Grillo wrote in 2015, saying mandatory vaccination represented a gift for multinational pharmaceutical firms.