Measles cases on the increase in England

Measles on the increase in Europe

Between 1 January 2018 and 9 May 2018 there have been 440 laboratory confirmed measles cases in England. Measles is an infectious viral illness that can sometimes lead to serious complications and can be fatal in very rare cases.

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

“The measles outbreaks we are currently seeing in England are linked to ongoing large outbreaks in Europe.

“The majority of cases we are seeing are in teenagers and young adults who missed out on their MMR vaccine when they were children.

“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.”

Check the latest travel advice

Young people in environments with close mixing such as festivals are more at risk, as well as unvaccinated people travelling to Romania and Italy, where there are currently large outbreaks.

Anyone planning to travel to Europe should check NaTHNaC travel health advice.

PHE local health protection teams are working closely with the NHS and local authorities to raise awareness with health professionals and local communities.

Anyone who is not sure if they are fully vaccinated should check with their GP practice who can advise them.

“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.”

“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.”