Low MMR vaccine uptake blamed for measles' return to Sussex

Dozens of cases of measles have been reported in Sussex, United Kingdom, this year, and the spread of the disease has been attributed to the low uptake of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

More than 160 cases of measles were reported in the county last year. Tom Scanlon, the director of public health in Brighton and Hove, said that the disease was becoming consistent in the community. He referred to the situation as disappointing because it was avoidable, the Argus reports.

"We had almost got on top of this disease because of the MMR vaccine," Scanlon said, according to the Argus. "However, this is the second mini outbreak we have had in the last couple of years. It is not unreasonable to say that it has made a return to the community and we are likely to see the pattern repeated over the years."

Brighton and Hove's vaccination rate against measles is approximately 85 percent, which puts it at the lowest in the country. Many parents have refused to give their children the vaccination due to the now discredited connection between the vaccine and autism.

"It is frustrating because it did not need to happen," Scanlon said, according to the Argus. "We should be in a similar situation that we are in with polio which has been all but eradicated. Giving your children the MMR vaccine is a decision that is down to the parents but it has the added benefit that it does not only just protect your child, it protects others around them."