Measles infection rate doubles in two years as parents increasingly believe ‘anti-vaxxers’

MORE than twice as many people were infected with measles in the first half of this year than the whole of 2017, figures show.

There were 532 cases of the potentially deadly virus in England from January to June – double the 259 recorded two years ago.

 The number of Measles cases are on the rise in the UK


The number of Measles cases are on the rise in the UKCredit: AP:Associated Press

Public Health England said the infection rate is increasing, with more affected in the second quarter of this year than the first.

One in seven kids is expected to start primary school next month without having had the two MMR jabs they need to be protected.

Health chiefs warn the 90,000 youngsters will be at increased risk of measles, mumps and rubella.


Prime Minister Boris Johnson has blamed “superstitious mumbo jumbo” spread on the internet for putting parents off the injections.

He will haul in tech bosses to order them to do more after Britain lost its measles-free status with the World Health Organisation.

The country had eliminated the virus three years ago but lost its status earlier this month following a fall in childhood vaccination rates.

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One factor is baseless scare stories spread on Facebook and Twitter, often from trolls and bots in hostile states such as Russia.

Medics are urging parents to ensure their kids are vaccinated before they return to school next month.

Dr Mary Ramsay, from PHE, said: “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. Vaccines are there to stop the spread of disease and save lives.”

Prof Helen Bedford, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: “It’s never too late to get the MMR vaccine.

“It is highly effective and has a good safety record.”

There were 2,028 confirmed cases of mumps from April to June – the highest quarterly figure for a decade.

Nearly half were in people who were not vaccinated, with high numbers among university students.

What is measles?

MEASLES is a highly infectious viral illness that can sometimes lead to very serious complications.

It can cause things like pneumonia and encephalitis – both of which can kill or leave people seriously disabled for the rest of their lives.

Now, experts are calling for measles vaccinations to be made mandatory in certain countries.

It’s given in two doses as part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme.

The first jab is given to kids at around 13 months old, while a second dose is administered at around three years, four months.

There is no link at all between having the MMR vaccine and autism – even in children who have other risk factors for the condition, scientists confirmed back in March.

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That’s the conclusion of a nationwide study of all children born in Denmark to Danish-born mums between 1999 and 2010.

Last week, we revealed that anti-vaxxer parents were holding “measles parties” to give their kids the deadly virus.


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