Measles outbreak in Merseyside worse since MMR jab introduced in 1988

Merseyside is currently in the midst of the largest measles outbreak in the area since the MMR vaccine was introduced in 1988.

Medics are urging parents with children who are unvaccinated to contact their GPs. Primary Care Trusts in Merseyside have identified 7,300 unvaccinated children in the area, Wirral Globe reports.

A total of 414 cases have been confirmed since the beginning of the year. A further 173 probable cases are currently under investigation. Though there have been no deaths in this outbreak, more than 20 percent of cases were admitted to local hospitals, some requiring intensive care.

A total of 1,450 measles cases have been investigated, with 35 percent of the cases in children between the ages of five and 19 who may have missed out on the MMR vaccination as children, the Health Protection Agency North West disclosed, according to Wirral Globe.

Infants too young to be vaccinated and those with underlying illnesses have been identified as having serious risk of contracting measles. Merseyside has seen an increase in vaccine uptake rates, putting them at their highest level ever. This is partly due to publicity of the outbreak and efforts by medical services.

The number of cases in Liverpool is 249, with an additional 59 in Knowsley, 50 in Sefton, 15 cases in Wirral and 20 in Halton and St. Helens, Wirral Globe reports.