European measles outbreak spreads to UK

Parents are being urged to ensure their children's immunisations are up to date


Measles is on the rise in the UK, with more than twice as many cases so far this year as there were in the whole of 2010, according to new figures.


The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said there have been 777 cases across England and Wales in the first seven months of 2011, compared to 374 for all of last year.

Most of those affected have been children and young adults, and it’s thought the disease is being spread by families returning from holidays in European countries including France, Spain, Switzerland and Germany.

The HPA also reported 896 cases of meningococcal infection in 2010, one of the most common causes of meningitis.

“Measles and meningitis are infections that can both be fatal, it is absolutely vital that all students ensure they are completely up to date with all their vaccinations, especially the MMR and Men C vaccine,” said the HPA’s head of the immunisation, Dr Mary Ramsay.

Children need to have two jabs in order to be fully protected, normally when they turn 1 and again around 3-and-a-half years.


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