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Measles cases continue to surge

By Gareth Iacobucci

Measles cases are continuing to spiral, after mid-year figures showed almost as many cases in the first six months of 2009 as there were in the whole of last year.

The latest figures from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) show there were 1,035 cases in England and Wales between January-June 2009, compared to 1,370 for the whole of last year, which was itself a 36% increase on 2007 figures.

The largest number of cases reported by the end of June was in the South East (267), followed by London (173) and Wales (136).

81% of cases confirmed so far this year have been in children and young adults under 18 years old.

The HPA warned earlier this year that surge in the number of children contracting the illness was a direct result of not being vaccinated in earlier childhood, due to fears surrounding the safety of the MMR vaccine.

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