Anti-Vaccination Trend May Have Sparked European Measles Outbreak

41,000 cases of measles and 40 subsequent deaths emerged over the past year.

Measles vaccination
Do you need a measles booster shot? (Flickr.)(Getty Images)

More than 2,000 people in Italy alone have been diagnosed with measles in the past year — a health epidemic that’s symptomatic of an even larger problem.

Experts say the reason for this dangerous uptick across the continent is that many parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children. And because of the growth in influence of the anti-vaccination movement in the United States, the rising numbers could be a preview of what’s in store on this side of the Atlantic.

“It’s the main factor leading to the outbreaks,” a European Commission in Brussels spokesperson said. ““It’s unacceptable to have in the 21st century diseases that should have been and could have been eradicated.”

One of those infected Italian citizens, Silvia Rosetti of Rome, told NBC News she wasn’t vaccinated as a child because it wasn’t required. She was diagnosed with the illness last year while 32-weeks pregnant with her first child.

Her son was not infected, but both he and Rosetti were quarantined for five days after she delivered. The new mother came down with pneumonia as a symptom of her measles as well as a fever, cough and “congestion so bad she could barely breathe,” NBC reported.

“If you do the vaccination, you love yourself, you love your sons, and you love everybody,” she told the news site. “You protect everybody. It’s not just for myself or for my son.”

England is another country with a rising measles rate, even after the nation was declared free of the disease by the World Health Organization just one year ago.


The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.