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Is measles epidemic inevitable?

logoAccording to the World Health Organisation: “The 9 deaths [in Western Europe] and thousands of measles-associated hospitalisations in 2011 are a reminder that measles is a serious disease that may cause death in all age groups, even in countries with high quality health care where malnutrition is not widespread.”

When a vaccine against it was developed, measles should have become a disease of the past. However, as incidences of the disease became less commonplace, parents became complacent. The inoculation rate fell below the 95% which is seen as necessary to see off the disease – and it began to creep back.

There is now a cluster of measles in south Wales, with over 1,000 children reported to be infected. This has led to a rush of older children, who missed out on inoculation when they were younger, being vaccinated in the area. Schools across the UK have been contacting parents and urging them to see that all their children are vaccinated before a South Wales-style outbreak is repeated elsewhere.

However, whether enough parents will do this to see off the disease is touch and go.  Research commissioned by www.beteenus.com and carried out by Opinium revealed that of those who have a teenager(s), just over one in ten (12%) say they would refuse (or have already refused) on their teenager’s behalf if they were offered an MMR vaccine. If these early indications were carried over into real vaccination choices, the UK would remain below the safe rate of 95%,

•If you are concerned about measles, vaccinations or any other aspect of your child’s health, talk to your GP.

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