Get your jabs alert over mumps surge

Daily Express - - NEWS - By Giles Sheldrick Chief Re­porter

HEALTH chiefs last night urged peo­ple to get vac­ci­nated against po­ten­tially lethal mumps af­ter the worst out­break in a decade spread through the univer­sity stu­dent com­mu­nity.

Cases jumped to 2,028 in the three months to June com­pared with 795 in the pre­vi­ous quar­ter.

And 301 new measles in­fec­tions were con­firmed in the same three-month pe­riod – an in­crease on the 231 cases from the first quar­ter of the year.

The out­breaks have prompted Public Health Eng­land to is­sue an ur­gent plea to par­ents to en­sure their chil­dren have the MMR measles, mumps, and rubella (Ger­man measles) vac­ci­na­tion. Two doses are re­quired for pro­tec­tion.

All three are highly in­fec­tious and can have se­ri­ous po­ten­tially fa­tal com­pli­ca­tions, in­clud­ing menin­gi­tis.

Dr Mary Ram­say, Public Health Eng­land’s head of im­mu­ni­sa­tion, said: “Although it is nor­mal to see mumps out­breaks in uni­ver­si­ties ev­ery few years, we are see­ing the high­est quar­terly fig­ure since 2009.

“Cou­pled with the con­tin­ued measles out­breaks these fig­ures clearly demon­strate the need for sus­tained high vac­ci­na­tion rates.

“We’re urg­ing par­ents and their chil­dren, no mat­ter how old they are, to check they’ve had two doses of MMR. Measles is easy to catch and can kill.”

The in­crease is par­tic­u­larly wor­ry­ing as only last year Bri­tain was de­clared free of measles by the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Measles has also re­turned to three other Euro­pean coun­tries de­clared free of the ill­ness – Al­ba­nia, Czech Repub­lic and Greece.

Al­most 365,000 cases have been re­ported world­wide this year – three times the num­ber as in the first half of last year.

The trend co­in­cides with a rise in the anti-vac­cine move­ment which pro­motes lies slur­ring safe and ef­fec­tive jabs.

The MMR vac­cine is avail­able on the NHS as a sin­gle in­jec­tion to ba­bies. A sec­ond jab is given just be­fore start­ing school.

The vac­cine is also avail­able to all adults and chil­dren who are not up to date with their two doses.

The Depart­ment of Health and So­cial Care said: “Our 30-year MMR vac­ci­na­tion pro­gramme is es­ti­mated to have pre­vented 1.8mil­lion painful and po­ten­tially fa­tal cases of mumps.”

Dan­ger...mumps is on rise

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