Deadly Measles Warning as Parents Shun MMR
London Evening Standard; 17
The director of public health for London, Dr. Sue Atkinson, has issued a warning that urgent action is needed to ward off a potentially fatal measles outbreak in the city because of the low uptake of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine among the high-risk communities. Seven London districts were named by experts as being at the highest risk due to low MMR uptake, and officials of the 12 boroughs involved have drawn up action plans to increase vaccination coverage. "These are areas where we think there probably will be cases of measles and where, because of low MMR uptake, it is more likely to spread in the community," Atkinson explained. According to the World Health Organization, in order for the whole community to be protected, 95 percent of children need to receive the MMR vaccine; however, uptake in London stands at just 75 percent--the lowest coverage in the United Kingdom.