New warning on increase in measles cases
NEARLY 30 people have been diagnosed with measles in the South West so far this year.
Cases are mainly in children or adults under 25 years of age. The vast majority of the 28 patients were unvaccinated.
The Health Protection Agency is reporting a rise in measles cases across the country. Laboratory tests confirmed 334 cases up to the end of April 2011, compared to a provisional total of 374 cases for the whole of 2010.
Measles cases have been associated with small clusters in universities, schools or families or associated with travel abroad.
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Dr Mary Ramsay, head of the immunisation department at the Health Protection Agency, said: "Although MMR coverage has improved over the last few years, we cannot stress enough that measles is serious and in some cases it can be fatal.
"Measles is a highly infectious and potentially dangerous illness which spreads very easily.
"Whether you stay here in the UK or travel abroad it is crucial that individuals who may be at risk are fully immunised."
Other European countries have also seen increases in measles cases in recent months.