Public Health England (PHE) has urged eligible patients to get vaccinated against measles and mumps after a high number of cases.
PHE confirmed this month that there were 2,028 cases of mumps in England in the second quarter of 2019, the ‘highest quarterly’ data since 2009.
This comes as the UK has been recently deemed second worst in Europe for vaccinating against measles and Boris Johnson called on healthcare teams to take ‘urgent action’ to boost the uptake of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
Figures published by PHE showed 301 new measles infections between April and June 2019 compared to 231 in the first quarter of the year.
Some 2,028 cases of mumps were seen in the second quarter of this year as opposed to 795 in the previous quarter.
‘Significant number of cases’
Experts said the rise in mumps diagnosis has been largely driven by outbreaks in unvaccinated university students, with almost half of the cases this quarter alone going unvaccinated.
PHE head of immunisation Dr Mary Ramsay said: ‘Although it is normal to see mumps outbreaks in universities every few years, we are seeing a significant number of cases, the highest quarterly figure since 2009.
‘Coupled with the continued measles outbreaks these figures clearly demonstrate the need for sustained high vaccination rates.’
She added: ‘We’re urging parents and their children, no matter how old they are, to check they’ve had two doses of MMR. Measles is easy to catch and can kill. Vaccines are there to stop the spread of disease and save lives.
‘It’s never too late to protect yourself and others.’
No link between MMR and autism
Earlier this year, a major new study confirmed once again that there is no link between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism.
Meanwhile, the training provider PharmaDoctor announced it was letting all community pharmacies pre-order its free measles patient group direction (PGD), allowing them to offer private measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines.