Source: Birmingham Mail (UK)
By: Varma, Anuji
People who fail to have their children fully immunized are being blamed for an increase in measles cases in Birmingham, U.K., with cases in the West Midlands rising from 14 in 2010 to 40 in 2011 and another 32 cases confirmed in the first half of 2012. With measles cases in England and Wales rising 200 percent to 1,086 in 2011 from 380 in 2010, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) is encouraging parents to have their children vaccinated. “Although MMR coverage has improved over the last few years, we cannot stress enough that measles is serious and in some cases it can be fatal,” says Dr. Mary Ramsay, head of immunization at the HPA. “Whether you stay here in the U.K. or travel abroad, it is crucial that individuals who may be at risk are fully immunized.” MMR uptake rose to 89.4 percent for two-year-olds for the first dose and 92.8 percent for five-year-olds in December 2010, but the HPA continues to push for at least 95 percent coverage.