Warning over measles outbreak

IPSWICH could be at risk of an outbreak of measles because of a huge drop in MMR injections, a top doctor has warned.Claims that the Measles, Mumps and Rubella all in one jab has caused autism in some children has put many parents off taking their children for the injection.

IPSWICH could be at risk of an outbreak of measles because of a huge drop in MMR injections, a top doctor has warned.

Claims that the Measles, Mumps and Rubella all in one jab has caused autism in some children has put many parents off taking their children for the injection.

But Hamid Mahgoub the district immunisation officer has warned that an outbreak of measles could happen in the town and that the disease can sometimes lead to convulsions, brain diseases and even death.

He is now calling for parents to reconsider giving their children the vaccination in a bid to prevent rising cases of the illness.


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Speaking of his concerns that the amount of MMR vaccinations was dropping dramatically, Dr Mahgoub said: "It worries us very much.

"If you just have one case you risk an outbreak."

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Fortunately this year there has not been an increase in the amount of measles cases in Ipswich but there have been 10 notified cases and three confirmed.

But the amount of people who have stopped giving their children the jab is more of a concern to doctors.

Dr Mahgoub said: "The amount of children having MMR I jabs at 12 to 14 months and the MMR II at around four years old is getting much lower.

"In London they had 126 confirmed cases and this happens when you have a larger number of people or children not being immunised.

"When you have a coverage (amount of people being immunised) of 90 per cent or more you have a herd immunity which means people are protecting each other because they have been vaccinated.

"When the coverage is dropping to below 80, as it is now, you have more and more cases (of measles) where people have not been immunised."

Although many parents fear the alleged link between the vaccination and autism, Dr Mahgoub was quick to point out that the jab is still safe.

He said: "It has been given to millions of children for so many years.

"Scientists have found that there is no link to autism and it is just a hypothesis.

"If a child gets measles there is a one in 200 chance that it will get fits and convulsions and a one in 1000 chance of getting encephalitis – there is even a one in 2,500 chance that it will die.

"At the moment we have no cases but there is always the chance that someone comes into the area who has it and then you might get an outbreak."

WEBLINK: www.doh.gov.uk/mmr/index.html

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