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Sunday 23rd October 2016

Measles cases have risen

28th August 2012

The Health Protection Agency has released figures which show the number of measles cases in England and Wales nearly doubled in the first six months of 2012.


The data showed the number of cases rose from 497 in the first half of 2011 to 964 during the same months of this year.

The HPA has urged parents to ensure their children have the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) before they begin school in September.

Measles can cause serious illness, with complications such as meningitis and brain inflammation. Women who catch the disease while they are pregnant can have babies with birth defects.

The most recent information on immunisation rates for the MMR jab revealed that there were uptake rates of 93% for the first dose of the MMR jab (usually given at 12-13 months) and 87% for the second (usually given at between three to five years of age). 

Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at the Health Protection Agency, said: "Measles can be very serious and parents should understand the risks associated with the infection, which in severe cases can result in death."

"Although uptake of the MMR has improved in recent years some children do not get vaccinated on time and some older children, who missed out when uptake was lower, have not had a chance to catch up.

"Therefore, there are still enough people who are not protected to allow some large outbreaks to occur among unvaccinated individuals." 

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