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Measles Cases Remain High In North Yorkshire


9:42am 11th July 2013

Monthly confirmed measles case data for Yorkshire and the Humber for May is published today as part of the national MMR catch –up programme. The figures show a further five cases of the preventable, infectious disease on top of the 65 cases reported from January to April this year.

The longer term data shows that in 2011 there were 62 cases in Yorkshire and the Humber and in 2012 there were 152 cases.

Across England as a whole cases declined in May with 188 confirmed cases compared to 299 for April, suggesting that the MMR catch-up programme may be having an impact, but it is too soon to be sure say Public Health England. They add that ten-14 year olds continue to be the age group most affected.

Preliminary figures released today by Public Health England (PHE) estimate that around 56,000 previously unvaccinated 10-16 year olds in England have received a first dose of vaccine in the catch-up programme, and around the same number of partially vaccinated children have also received an extra dose of MMR.

PHE estimates that around 120,000 extra 10-16 year olds need to have their first MMR doses to reach 95 per cent uptake of the first dose – these are the ‘priority’ group who do not have any protection against measles, mumps or rubella. They add that the 56,000 who have so far received a first dose suggests we are almost halfway toward this aim.

A detailed study on exactly who was unvaccinated, who has had one dose and who has had two doses is underway and is expected to be completed in the autumn.

Across the country, 95 per cent of GP practices have ordered extra vaccine and more than 200,000 extra doses of MMR vaccine have been delivered. To ensure as many children are vaccinated as possible, the need for a school based programme is being actively considered for the next academic year, say Public Health England.

Dr Stephen Morton Centre Director for PHE in Yorkshire and the Humber said: “Measles is a highly infectious and unpleasant disease that can lead to very serious complications. Children who have not had the MMR vaccine are at high risk of catching the disease.

“Thanks to the hard work of local health teams we are making good progress towards the 95 per cent target, but there still remains a large number of 10-16 year olds, together with many younger children and adults who are under-vaccinated. The programme will continue until we reach as many children as possible in the age groups most affected.

“If your child has not had the MMR vaccine, the upcoming summer holidays is a good time to contact your GP to get them vaccinated.”

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