Fourteen years after the local transmission of measles was halted in the United Kingdom (UK), the disease has once again become endemic, according to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), the public health body of England and Wales. In an update on measles cases in its weekly bulletin last week, the agency stated that, as a result of almost a decade of low mumps-measles-rubella (MMR) vaccination coverage across the UK, ‘the number of children susceptible to measles is now sufficient to support the continuous spread of measles’Current vaccination rates in the UK are well below the 95% desired to maintain herd immunity. Of over 50 lab-confirmed measles cases in Scotland so far this year (there have been 461 in England and Wales), only 2 of them were imported from overseas.
Measles is no longer endemic to Canada and the USA, but remains endemic in many other countries. If the current anti-vaccination movement continues to flourish, how long will it be before it returns to our shores?
[via Respectful Insolence]