Young people urged to get MMR jabs after surge in measles cases
Public health officials are urging young people to book an appointment with the GP if they have not been vaccinated against measles, after a big rise in cases this year.
Public Health England (PHE) figures show a four-fold rise in cases, with 234 confirmed between January and June compared with just 54 over the same period last year.
And with 36 suspected measles cases reported over the past two months among people who had been to festivals, PHE said that young people should be particularly vigilant if they are planning to go to events.
Measles tends to be more severe in teenagers and adults, and festivals provide the ideal place for measles infections to spread, officials said.
They said young people ‘who are unsure if they have been fully vaccinated should check with their GP and make an appointment to ensure they receive the two doses of MMR vaccine required’.
And youngsters who think they may be ill with symptoms of measles – such as high fever and rash – should not attend the events.
Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at PHE, said: ‘Measles isn’t common these days because most of us are vaccinated, but young people who missed their MMR jab as children are vulnerable, especially if gathered in large numbers at an event.
‘If you think you’ve got it, call your GP or NHS 111. Please don’t turn up at the surgery or at A&E as you could infect other patients.’
It comes after measles had dropped to record low levels two years ago, following a GP-led catch-up vaccination campaign targeting people who had missed out on infant MMR immunisations because of controversy resulting from a discredited study that linked the jabs to autism.