Measles outbreak: UK declares a national health incident due to rising cases

Measles outbreak: UK declares a national health incident due to rising cases

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The UK is concerned about the increased spread of measles, with the country declaring a national health emergency.

Jenny Harris, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), has announced a significant rise in measles cases over the past few months, urging parents across the country to vaccinate their children against the disease.

“This is a call to all parents across the country to check their children’s vaccination rates,” Harris said in an interview with BBC Radio 4.

Measles outbreaks in US and UK have health agencies on high alert: ‘Stay vigilant’

MMR vaccine

A single-dose vial of the MMR vaccine, manufactured by MERCK, is held at the Salt Lake County Health Department in Salt Lake City. (George Fry/Getty Images)

Officials point to a decline in uptake of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine over the past decade, with only 85% of children fully vaccinated.

“We are within the recommended coverage for measles, mumps and rubella vaccination,” Harris continued. “It’s clearly not where we want the vaccination program to be. We want it to get to 95%.”

The United Kingdom is currently experiencing a Measles outbreakWith more than 1,600 people in England and Wales falling ill with the highly contagious disease in 2023, up from 735 in 2022 and 360 in 2021, according to reports.

Health officials warn of possible measles exposure at Dulles and Ronald Reagan airports

“As expected, we are seeing a bigger swing to other areas — particularly within cities — where we know vaccination rates are low, and we know large numbers of children will be congregating together,” Davis said.

Skin measles outbreak

Image showing the skin of a patient with measles. (Istock)

The UKHSA released data this week confirming 216 cases of the disease in the West Midlands since last October, with an additional 103 possible cases.

About 80% of reported cases have been traced back to Birmingham and a further 10% to Coventry.

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The highly contagious disease can be serious and even fatal for young children.

In 2000, Global Health Organization The World Health Organization has declared measles “eliminated” in the United States, meaning no cases for at least 12 months.

The World Health Organization may have to cancel this classification if the outbreak continues for more than a year.

Fox News Digital’s Melissa Ruddy contributed to this report.

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