London's Measles Outbreak Reaches 84 Cases in 2023
The U.K. Health Security Agency (UKHSA) recently published HPR volume 17 issue 7, which shows measles cases to increase in 2023.
Between January and June 30, 2023, there have been 128 measles cases, compared to 54 cases in 2022.
With 66% of the cases detected in London.
The risk in London is primarily due to low vaccination rates, particularly in some areas where coverage of the first measles vaccine dose at two years of age is as low as 69.5%.
However, the UKHSA's measles epidemic risk assessment across the U.K. is considered low.
The assessment also concludes that there is a high risk of cases linked to overseas travel leading to outbreaks in specific population groups such as young people and under-vaccinated communities.
Dr. Vanessa Saliba, UKHSA Consultant Epidemiologist, said in a press release on July 14, 2023, "Measles spreads very easily but is preventable."
"Nobody wants to see their child or loved ones sick with measles, or put others more vulnerable, like babies, at risk."
Measles is caused by a highly contagious virus that spreads through the air by direct contact with infectious droplets or by airborne spread when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes.
To address these issues, NHS England has launched a targeted national campaign to encourage measles vaccine uptake, including targeted outreach work in London for those identified as at high risk and communities with the lowest vaccination uptake.
As of July 7, 2023, a total of 18 measles cases were reported by 12 jurisdictions in the United States.
The U.S. CDC's Travel Health Notice, issued in late June 2023, says all international travelers, including infants 6–11 months of age and preschool-aged children, should be fully vaccinated against measles.
The CDC's Global Level 1 - Practice Usual Precautions notice did not include the United Kindom.