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Last Updated: Friday, 14 March 2008, 16:53 GMT
Concern at rise in measles cases
MMR injection
Most cases involve children who have not been fully vaccinated
An outbreak of measles has been confirmed in Scotland, sparking a warning that children need to be fully vaccinated.

There have been 36 reported cases, 28 of which have been confirmed by Health Protection Scotland (HPS.)

The majority of the cases involved children under 16 years of age who have not received a complete course of the MMR vaccine.

Last year there were four cases and in 2006 there were 28 in the whole year.

2007 - 4 cases
2006 - 28 cases
2005 - 1 case
2004 - 2 cases
2003 - 15 cases.

Martin Donaghy, HPS medical director, said this "serves to highlight once more the importance of immunisation in protecting people from disease".

Measles is a notifiable disease, which means that a doctor who sees a patient whom they suspect has measles is required by law to report it.

GPs alerted

HPS has said since the introduction of measles vaccines, and especially the MMR vaccine, the number of cases has been reduced to very low levels.

Overall uptake of the MMR vaccine in Scotland remains high, with 91.7% of two year olds and 94.9% of five year olds having been immunised with at least one dose of MMR, to protect them against measles, mumps and rubella.

A target of 95% receiving at least one dose of MMR by five-years-old has been set by the Scottish Government and is considered the base level to prevent measles from circulating in the community.

People who have not received the MMR vaccine remain at risk of catching measles.

GPs have been alerted to the situation, which is being closely monitored by HPS.



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