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Published On: Fri, Feb 8th, 2013

Measles cases in England and Wales last year most seen since 1994

After reporting more than 2,000 cases of measles in England and Wales in 2012, health officials say that this represents an 18 year high for the airborne respiratory virus, according to a Health Protection Agency (HPA) news release Friday.

England, Wales

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Officially, the HPA recorded 2,016 measles cases in all of 2012 making it the  highest annual total since 1994 in the two countries.

Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at the HPA, said: “Coverage of MMR is now at historically high levels but measles is highly infectious and can spread easily among communities that are poorly vaccinated, and can affect anyone who is susceptible, including toddlers in whom vaccination has been delayed. Older children who were not vaccinated at the routine age, who may now be teenagers, are at particular risk of becoming exposed, while at school for example.

“Measles continues to circulate in several European countries that are popular with holidaymakers. Measles is a highly infectious disease so the only way to prevent outbreaks is to make sure the UK has good uptake of the MMR vaccine, and that when cases are reported, immediate public health action is taken to target unvaccinated individuals in the vicinity as soon as possible.”

The UK along with France, Italy, Spain and Romania accounted for 87 per cent of the total 7,392 measles cases reported throughout the European Union countries up to the end of November 2012.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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