Measles outbreak: biggest in 20 years

Measles cases treble in what was already the largest outbreak in north-east England for the last two decades.

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This year there’s been 99 reported measles cases and more than 100 suspected cases are being investigated, Health Protection Agency officials have said. The number of confirmed cases reported was 37, when figures were last released in May.

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Last year, just 17 measles cases were reported, the Health Protection Agency said.

The Health Protection Agency is urging parents to make sure their children have had both MMR jabs (the vaccine is given in two doses). It has been said that most cases could have been prevented because most cases occurred in children who weren’t fully protected by the MMR jab.

“There is no treatment for measles but it can be prevented by the safe and highly effective MMR vaccine,” Dr Meng Khaw, the director of public health for the North Tyneside Primary Care Trust said.

Earlier this year, health expert Sir Sandy Macara called for the MMR jab to be made compulsory.

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Wales has also experienced a measles outbreak this year, with an anti-MMR area hit by more than 100 cases.

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