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Published On: Thu, Jul 11th, 2013

England says measles at highest levels in two decades, Scotland cases increase and Wales outbreak declared over

Just a week after the measles outbreak in Swansea, Wales was declared over, Public Health England is reporting that cases of the viral respiratory disease  are currently at their highest recorded levels since 1994, with the total number of confirmed measles cases so far in 2013 (January-May) at 1,168, compared to 712 for the same period in 2012.

England, Wales

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Cases declined in May with 188 confirmed cases compared to 299 for April, suggesting that the MMR catch-up programme may be having an impact, but it’s too soon to be sure. 10-14 year olds continue to be the age group most affected.

Preliminary figures released today by Public Health England (PHE) estimate that around 56,000 previously unvaccinated 10-16 year olds in England have received a first dose of vaccine in the catch-up programme, and around the same number of partially vaccinated children have also received an extra dose of MMR.

PHE estimates that around 120,000 extra 10-16 year olds need to have their first MMR doses to reach 95% uptake of the first dose – these are the ‘priority’ group who do not have any protection against measles, mumps or rubella. The 56,000 who have so far received a first dose suggests we are almost halfway toward this aim.

In Scotland, the number of cases of measles has increased significantly during the first half of 2013, compared to the same period last year, according to a Health Protection Scotland eWeekly Report.

The report shows that in the first 24 weeks of 2013, there were 121 notifications of clinically suspected measles, 100 of which emerged in the last few months. Of these, there were 48 confirmed cases.

The figures show a significant rise on those recorded for the same period in 2012, when there were 44 suspected cases of measles, with eight confirmed.

While England and Wales battle measles outbreaks, Wales declared last Wednesday that the outbreak that began in November 2012 and resulted in 1219 notifications of measles centered in Swansea, is now declared over, according to a Public Health Wales news release.

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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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