Turkey saw 2,666 cases of measles in 2019, according to an official from the İstanbul Family Practitioners Association (İSTAHED), following an increase in parents’ refusal to vaccinate their children, the Diken news website reported.
The parents of at least 23,000 children refused to have them vaccinated in 2017, Dr. Hamza Özdemir said, adding that it was less than 1,000 four years earlier.
Despite an unexpected increase in measles cases, there is no record of deaths caused by the illness, according to the report.
But measles can cause permanent damage to children’s brains, Özdemir said.
The anti-vaccination movement is gaining support in Turkey as well as around the world.
Soner Yalçın, a famous Turkish author and the founder of the OdaTV news website, recently wrote a book that has drawn the public to the anti-vaccination movement.
He was strongly criticized by Turkish doctors on social media.