In May, Public Health England (PHE) declared a national measles incident. From Jan 1 through Aug 13, there have been 828 laboratory confirmed measles cases in England.
Cases were reported in most areas with London (291), the South-East (169), South-West (138), West Midlands (85) and Yorkshire and Humberside (80) reporting the most cases.
Although the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe has confirmed that the UK maintained its measles and rubella elimination status in 2017, the recent outbreaks are a warning against complacency: the UK remains vulnerable to importations leading to spread among communities with low MMR coverage, and in age groups with very close mixing.
It is essential for the maintenance of the UK’s elimination status that vaccination coverage with two doses of the MMR vaccine in children under the age of 5 years is improved; also that catch-up vaccines are offered to older children and young adults who missed the opportunity to be vaccinated at an earlier age.