Ten measles cases since the start of 2012 has hit St. Helens, a town in the northwest English county of Merseyside, making it the most widespread measles outbreak in the area since the 1980s. There have been 301 confirmed cases, along with 148 probable cases, of measles in Merseyside since the beginning of 2012.
According to a report in the St. Helens Reporter newspaper, Dr Roberto Vivancos, a consultant in communicable disease control with the Health Protection Agency, stated:
This has been the largest outbreak of measles in the North West since the introduction of MMR vaccine 24 years ago and it has demonstrated just why this vaccine is so important in protecting the public health. Parents of young children clearly value the protection, security and peace of mind that the MMR vaccine affords, but there remains a pool of older children, teenagers and young adults who are not vaccinated and remain vulnerable to measles, mumps and German measles. Our message to older teenagers and young adults is that if you were not vaccinated as children, it’s not too late. You should speak to your family doctor about the MMR vaccine because, without its protection, you will remain vulnerable to three potentially very serious diseases.
As I’ve mentioned before, parents should not consider measles a trivial disease. It can be deadly. Unvaccinated adults or older children can infect an infant prior to the chilling being vaccinated with the MMR vaccine. Everyone should be vaccinated, even if older.
Vaccines save lives.