Measles warning as further 86 cases confirmed in England with London named as hotspot – cases in your area

By Staff 6 Min Read

A “very low” number of vaccinated people is believed to be partly behind a rise in the number of confirmed cases of Measles in London over the last week

Another 88 cases of measles have been reported in England over the last week, with a sudden rise in London believed to be thanks to low numbers of people vaccinated against the disease.

A large outbreak in Birmingham at the tail end of 2023 has been followed by more pockets of people falling ill with the disease which once caused epidemics worldwide. Since October 1, 1109 cases have been confirmed – including 88 over the last seven days.

In the four weeks since March 18, there have been 191 laboratory confirmed measles cases.Of those, 39.8% of cases were in London (76). Behind that, the West Midlands accounted for 25.1% (48) and around 12% of cases (23) were in the East Midlands.

Dr Vanessa Saliba, UK Health Security Agency consultant epidemiologist, said: “Numbers of measles cases are rising across the country, with a particular increase seen in London in recent weeks. We know some communities in London have very low MMR vaccination rates.

“Measles is extremely infectious and it only takes one case to get into these communities for this disease to spread rapidly, especially in schools and nurseries.The MMR jab offers the best protection against measles. Measles is preventable but many thousands of children around the country are still not fully vaccinated and may be at risk of serious illness or life-long complications. No parent wants this for their child.

“Parents should check their child’s Red Book now to ensure that children are up to date with the MMR and other routine vaccines. If you’re unsure, contact your GP practice to check.”

Since October 1 in England there have been 1109 laboratory confirmed measles cases. Of those, 17 cases were reported in October, 41 in November, 153 in December 2023, 274 in January, 253 in February, 299 in March and 72 so far in April 2024. Just under half at 48.2% (535) of these cases have been in the West Midlands, 24.3% (269) in London and 9.5% (105)in the East Midlands. The remaining cases were reported in other regions of England.

The majority (63.7%) of these cases were in children aged 10 years and under, and 28.8% (319 of 1109) in young people and adults aged 15 years and over.

The updates are published every Thursday. The NHS says early symptoms of measles include high temperature, a runny or blocked nose, sneezing, a cough and red, sore, watery eyes. Later Symptoms of measles can include small white spots inside the cheeks and on the back of the lips a few days later, as well as a rash which starts on the face and behind the ears before spreading to the rest of the body.

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