Measles Cases in Europe Quadrupled in 2017

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Donald G. McNeil Jr.-

 

In 2016, the number of reported cases of measles was a low 5,273. However, in 2017, this number quadrupled to 21,315 total cases. Romania had the largest number of cases in Europe, 5,562, and the highest number of disease related deaths. Italy followed as the second highest, with 5,006 cases, and then Ukraine, with 4,767 cases. A major reason believed to be contributing to the outbreak is the low vaccination rates in Europe. Europe’s vaccination rates are much lower than those in the United States, in large part due to the presence of strong anti-vaccine sentiment. However, some European countries are trying to change this trend by requiring parents to either vaccinate or consult a doctor about the vaccination or face a hefty fine. The CDC currently reports outbreaks and Level 1 Watch for a variety of European countries, specifically England, Greece, Italy, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine.

 

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