June 21, 2008

Measles Now Reported Endemic in Britain

Public health officials in Britain warn that a decline in vaccinations has made measles endemic in the country once again.

A total of 95 cases of measles were reported in May in London, The Independent said. There were 35 elsewhere in England and Wales.

The Health Protection Agency said that the number of parents failing to see that their children are vaccinated for measles, rubella and mumps has risen to the point where measles shows continuous spread.

A teenager from West Yorkshire became the first person in the country to die of measles in two years after eight years of no deaths. The HPA also warned hospitals to make sure that doctors, nurses and other medical staff are immune to the disease after a doctor contracted measles.

Measles killed about 500 children in Britain every year before the vaccine was developed. The disease is caused by a virus.