Between 2017 and 2018 the number of global measles cases increased by 48.1% according to calculations by UNICEF.
Recent outbreaks have been caused by poor health infrastructure, low awareness, complacency and, in the developed world, a backlash against vaccinations.
Even though report after report shows there is no link between vaccinations and autism, a small percentage of people in the developed world refuse to vaccinate their children resulting in outbreaks of diseases that were nearly eradicated.
Italy has been experiencing a recent surge in measles cases. In December 2018 76 cases of the preventable disease was reported and that number more than doubled to 165 in January.
However, the recent outbreaks shouldn’t come as a shock, a recent study shows that the country’s vaccination rate was near 80%, far below the World Health Organization’s 95% recommendation.
So the country is fighting back by banning all unvaccinated children under the age of six from attending nursery school and kindergarten. Children between six and 16 cannot be banned from attending school for being unvaccinated, but there parents will have to face a hefty £425 fine ($480 U.S.) if they show up.
Monday, March 11 was the last day for parents to provide vaccination documentation before having their children sent home from school or being forced to pay a fine.
“Now everyone has had time to catch up,” Health Minister Giulia Grillo told La Repubblica newspaper. “No vaccine, no school.”
In the U.S., children must have the following vaccinations to attend public school: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis; polio, measles, and rubella. However, in 47 states, parents can get an exception for personal reasons.
The only states that prohibit such exemptions are California, West Virginia, and Mississippi.