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Measles outbreak in England: 127 more cases confirmed

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One out of 10 children starting school in England is not protected from missed measles, mumps, and rubella.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has published an update on the ongoing measles outbreak in England, revealing the number of cases reported between 1 October 2023 and 23 January 2024.

According to the agency, 347 laboratory-confirmed measles cases have been reported in the country since October 2023, with 127 of these cases confirmed this month alone.

The maximum number of cases (260) were reported from the West Midlands, while 46 cases were confirmed in London and 24 cases in Yorkshire and The Humber.

Children under the age of 10 were mostly affected, accounting for 67 per cent of all confirmed cases, and 24 per cent of these patients were young people and adults over the age of 15.

Dr Vanessa Saliba, UKHSA Consultant Epidemiologist, has warned that the ongoing measles outbreak in the West Midlands remains a concern, and there is a “real risk” that this outbreak could spread to other towns and cities.

She said that MMR vaccine coverage has been falling for the last decade, leaving 1 out of 10 children starting school in England unprotected.

“Measles is a nasty illness for most children and for some can be serious, but it is completely preventable. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your children,” Dr Saliba added.

As measles cases continue to rise in parts of England, parents are being urged to book their children in for their missed MMR vaccine.

“The MMR vaccine is safe and effective, and just two doses will give you and your family lifelong protection,” said Dr Emma Kain, Consultant in Public Health Medicine and Screening and Immunisations Lead, NHS England South West.

Measles is an infectious illness that can spread very easily and lead to complications that may require hospitalisation as well as cause lifelong disability or death on rare occasions.

If infected during pregnancy, measles can cause stillbirth, miscarriage and low birth weight.

 

 

 

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