SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2016

More than 300 confirmed measles cases in Merseyside

The number of confirmed measles cases in Merseyside, England, has surpassed 300, making it the biggest measles outbreak in the area since 1988.

Of the 301 confirmed measles cases in and around Liverpool, 90 of the cases are in teenagers. According to Health Protection Agency officials, the number of children receiving the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is at an all-time high but young adults and teenagers are still at risk, BBC reports.

"We are encouraging older children, teenagers and young adults to come forward as well because we know that in previous years the take-up wasn't that good," Roberto Vivancos, an HPA representative, said, according to BBC. "If they haven't been vaccinated they are still at risk of catching measles."

Seventy of the confirmed cases are in toddlers and babies who were too young to be vaccinated, while approximately 55 cases are in children between 13 and 40 months of age who were partially or wholly unvaccinated. The fewest number of cases were found in children between the ages of 40 and 60 months, an age group that is protected well against measles by two MMR vaccine doses. In addition to the 301 confirmed cases, 148 probable cases are under investigation.

Thirteen of the suspected cases and 54 of the confirmed cases required treatment in a hospital.