Health

Measles Is Making A Comeback In Italy As Anti-Vaccine Movement Gains Traction

Debate over vaccines’ effectiveness and side effects has led to a measles outbreak across Europe (affecting more than 20,000 people).

Measles can be lethal and is one of the most contagious diseases in existence. Measles irradicated nearly 90,000 people in 2016 — the first time that number has been under 100,000. The drop is largely due to introduction of the measles vaccine, which led to an 84-percent drop in measles-related deaths between 2000 and 2016, according to the World Health Organization.

The disease hit Italy hard last year. Officials recorded 5,006 cases of measles in the country — more than 200 times more than the U.S.’s 118 recorded cases of measles, according to the American Council on Science and Health.

A mandatory-vaccinations debate has grown into a major issue for Italy in 2018. Two political organizations, Northern League and the Five Star Movement, are campaigning against the scientific consensus concerning vaccines. They’ve pledged to roll back regulations on mandatory vaccines if elected, according to Politico.

The movements have become popular with parents and others concerned that vaccinations are linked to autism. An Italian nurse allegedly gave fake vaccinations to children while throwing away the real vaccine. The nurse could be sentenced to prison for up to 10 years, according to The Local.

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