February 6, 2009

British measles cases soaring

Britain could face a measles epidemic because of parental reluctance to use the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, health officials said.

There were 1,348 measles cases last year in England and Wales, up from 990 in 2007, The Daily Mail reported Friday.

The newspaper said the decline in vaccinations is attributed to unfounded concerns the MMR vaccine may be linked to autism.

Britain's Health Protection Agency said there is a very real chance of an epidemic of measles.

Measles should not be taken lightly as you can never tell who will go on to develop the more serious complications of pneumonia and encephalitis, Dr. Mary Ramsay said to The Daily Mail. Measles isn't a 'harmless childhood disease and it is never too late to get your child immunized with the MMR vaccine."