Measles Warning After MMR Setback
Financial Times; 3
Reporting in the journal Science, public health researchers in the United Kingdom are warning that the nation is coming to a point at which measles will again be an endemic illness, because the public has lost confidence in the combined measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and fewer children are being immunized against the disease. The scientists have noted a number of local outbreaks of measles among children who lack immunization, and they express "hope that this is a warning signal for parents," according to study author Vincent Jansen, with Royal Halloway, University of London. Before a measles vaccine was introduced in the late 1960s in Britain, there were about 800,000 cases of measles and 100 related deaths per year, a figure that was steadily dropped through the 1980s. After the inception of the MMR vaccine in 1988, the number of measles cases dropped so low that the disease was no longer considered endemic, though that classification could reappear if the outbreaks continue.