Measles outbreaks across England

15 May 2018

Article: 52/1903

Public Health England (PHE) is advising the public to ensure they have had two doses of MMR vaccine after outbreaks of measles were confirmed across England.

Between 1 January 2018 and 9 May 2018, there have been 440 laboratory confirmed measles cases in England, with London (164), the South East (86), West Midlands (78), South West (42) and West Yorkshire (37) reporting the most cases.

The increase in measles circulation is mainly associated with travel to and from Europe where there are large ongoing measles outbreaks.

Young people and adults aged 15 and over who missed out on MMR vaccine when they were younger and some under-vaccinated communities have been particularly affected.

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can sometimes lead to serious complications and can be fatal in very rare cases. Anyone who has not received two doses of MMR vaccine is at risk, but young people in environments with close mixing such as festivals are more at risk, as well as unvaccinated people travelling to countries e.g. Romania, Greece, France and Italy, where there are currently large outbreaks.

PHE local health protection teams are working closely with the NHS and local authorities to raise awareness with health professionals and local communities. The MMR vaccine is available to all adults and children who are not up to date with their two doses.

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

Source: PHE, 11 May 2018