Urgent Warning Issued As Measles Outbreaks Spotted In the UK

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UK (Parliament Politic Magazine) – An urgent warning has been issued in response to recent measles outbreaks among children. From January 1 to June 30 of this year, over 125 cases of measles have been reported, a significant increase from the 54 cases recorded throughout the entirety of 2022.

While the majority of these cases have been identified in London, the virus has been observed throughout the United Kingdom. 

Dr. William Proto, a health protection consultant at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), emphasized the highly contagious nature of measles and its potential to rapidly spread within communities, particularly schools if individuals have not received at least one dose of the MMR vaccine. It is crucial to address this alarming situation promptly and take necessary precautions to prevent further outbreaks.

What Are Measles?

Measles are like this highly contagious, viral infection, you know. It’s caused by this virus called the measles virus and can spread through the air when people cough or sneeze, which is kinda crazy really. It starts off with all these flu-like symptoms like a high fever, runny nose, and cough, and then bam! 

You get those super classic red spots that start from your face and work their way down to the rest of your body. Like seriously, it’s not a good look. But what’s really scary is that measles can lead to some serious complications like pneumonia or even brain inflammation, which can be pretty dang dangerous. That’s why it’s so important to get vaccinated and protect yourself and others from this nasty little bug. 

Virus Can Cause Serious Illness

“Although the majority of individuals will typically recover fully within a couple of weeks, it is crucial to recognize the potential gravity of a measles infection. This viral illness can lead to severe health complications, including permanent disabilities and even fatalities.

 Particularly vulnerable groups, such as infants, young children, expectant mothers, and individuals with compromised immune systems, face an elevated risk of experiencing severe complications if they contract measles. It is worth noting that all reported cases thus far have involved unvaccinated children. 

Consequently, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has provided guidance to the affected school and nursery, recommending the exclusion of individuals who have not received at least one dose of the MMR vaccine and have had contact with a measles case. This precautionary measure is necessary due to the potential incubation period of up to 21 days, during which an infected individual may unknowingly transmit the

Children Must Receive Two Doses Of MMR Vaccine For Protection

“Children should receive two doses of the MMR vaccine to ensure maximum protection. This vaccine not only safeguards them from diseases but also reduces the risk of the virus spreading to vulnerable individuals, such as infants who are too young to be vaccinated and adults who may be more susceptible to the disease.”

This warning comes in response to the Health and Social Care Select Committee’s concern regarding the declining number of children receiving their routine vaccinations, which provide protection against diseases like meningitis, measles, and hepatitis B.

Steve Brine, the chair of the Health and Social Committee, commented on the report, stating, “Vaccination is one of the most remarkable success stories in infection prevention.”

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Alarming Measles Outbreak In London If MMR Rates Remain Low

“However, unless the government addresses the challenges surrounding the declining rates of childhood immunizations and implements reforms in clinical trials, the UK’s position as a global leader in vaccination is at risk of being lost.

Earlier this month, the UK Health Security Agency issued a warning that London faces the potential outbreak of tens of thousands of measles cases if MMR vaccination rates remain low. We have already witnessed a surge in cases in the capital and the West Midlands, serving as a significant wake-up call.

Furthermore, it is concerning to note that industrial clinical trial activity in the UK has reached its lowest point to the date when it comes to developing future medicines.

One of the primary obstacles lies in the sluggishness of bureaucratic processes involved in setting up trials. Addressing this issue, along with other challenges, is crucial if we are to fully capitalize on our world-leading academic and research expertise.”

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.