In a follow-up on the measles outbreak in England, health officials have reported 440 laboratory confirmed measles cases in England since the beginning of the year. The increase in measles circulation is mainly associated with travel to and from Europe where there are large ongoing measles outbreaks, health officials note.

Image/Robert Herriman
Image/Robert Herriman

London has seen the most lab-confirmed cases with 164, followed by  the South East (86), West Midlands (78), South West (42) and West Yorkshire (37).

Young people and adults aged 15 and over who missed out on MMR vaccine when they were younger and some under-vaccinated communities have been particularly affected.

Europe measles cases up 400 percent in 2017

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at PHE, said:

Anyone who missed out on their MMR vaccine in the past or are unsure if they had 2 doses should contact their GP practice to catch-up.

This serves as an important reminder for parents to take up the offer of MMR vaccination for their children at 1 year of age and as a pre-school booster at 3 years and 4 months of age.

We’d also encourage people to ensure they are up to date with their MMRvaccine before travelling to countries with ongoing measles outbreaks.

The UK recently achieved WHO measles elimination status and so the overall risk of measles to the UK population is low, however, we will continue to see cases in unimmunised individuals and limited onward spread can occur in communities with low MMR coverage and in age groups with very close mixing.

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