TopicsImmunisation & IllnessMeasles: UKHSA declares national incident

Measles: UKHSA declares national incident

Cases of measles are on the rise in the West Midlands, which could impact elsewhere, warns the UKHSA.

Since October last year, there have 216 confirmed cases and 103 probable cases of measles in the West Midlands. The majority of cases are children under 10. Around 80% of those have been reported in Birmingham, with a further 10% in Coventry.

Measles spreads very easily among those who are unvaccinated, especially in nurseries and schools. The UKHSA warns there may be further outbreaks to other towns and cities if MMR vaccine uptake does not increase in the most vulnerable areas.

Recently, there have been some successful interventions in local communities, such as pop-up clinics and street level community engagement. But UKHSA Chief Executive, Dame Professor Jenny Harries says local areas need to commit to turn around falling MMR uptake rates:

‘Children who get measles can be very poorly and some will suffer life changing complications. The best way for parents to protect their children from measles is the MMR vaccine. Two doses of the MMR vaccine give lifelong protection and it’s never too late to catch up … Immediate action is needed to boost MMR uptake across communities where vaccine uptake is low.’

Image | Shutterstock


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