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Confirmed measles cases at 18-year high

Over 2,000 confirmed cases of measles were reported to the Health Protection Agency (HPA) in 2012, the highest level since 1994. 

The HPA has called for “immediate public health action” to vaccinate those who may not have had MMR at the routine age. 

Vaccinate 'as soon as possible' 

“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,” said Dr Mary Ramsay, HPA head of immunisation.

When a confirmed case of measles has been reported, unprotected individuals should be vaccinated “as soon as possible”. 

Measles rife across EU

The UK, France, Italy, Spain and Romania accounted for close to 90% of measles cases reported throughout the European Union. 

Prolonged outbreaks in Sussex, Merseyside and Surrey as well as smaller outbreaks in travelling communities across England and Wales were identified.

Dr Ramsay added: “Measles is often associated with being a disease of the past and as a result people may be unaware that it is dangerous infection that can lead to death in severe cases.”