'It's scary!' Britons fear for children as measles cases continue across the UK

Concerned parent

Parents have shared fears about the spread of measles

Theo Chikomba

By Theo Chikomba

Published: 23/01/2024

- 21:15

Cases of measles have spread in parts of the UK

“It is scary,” said one parent in Birmingham to potentially see their child have measles and for their friends to get it as it spreads quickly, as cases have risen quickly in recent months.

The hospital said it had treated 50 cases in the past month, the highest number it had seen for years.

She added that her twin boys had their Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccination two weeks ago, much later than she hoped as there were delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

She went on to say: “The last thing I want to do is for my children to contract it or for others to contract it from them if they are infectious.”

Concerned parent

Measles cases have risen in some parts of the UK


Britons have been given a national call to action as measles continues to spread at a worrying pace.

Birmingham Children’s Hospital is having to isolate measles patients to stop the disease from spreading, according to a doctor at the hospital.

Dr Neil Bugg, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “At our hospital we see the most severe cases of measles which can lead to more serious conditions such as pneumonia, an infection of the lungs, encephalitis, which is swelling of the brain and other serious complications.

“The very best way to be protected is to have the MMR vaccine, which is available from your GP.

"We’d like for everyone to be vaccinated against measles, if they haven’t been already, so that they are protected against these rare but potentially very serious complications."

Another mother whose child has also been vaccinated said it’s been all over social media and lots of parents are worried.

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She said: “It’s obviously, rising especially in Birmingham, it’s quite a scary thing because it’s quite dangerous for children to get measles.

"He’s [her son] had two vaccinations and my other two children have had theirs as well.

“But I remember a long time ago, particularly with the MMR, there were rumours going around that children could have got autism, I think that’s been squashed now.

"But I think it still sticks to people’s minds and some people are still a bit wary of vaccinating children."

The UK Health Security Agency has declared a national incident as figures show that more than 3.4 million children have not had an MMR jab.

A national campaign has been launched to boost the uptake of the vaccine that protects against measles in England after a rise in cases of the potentially deadly disease.

Dr Keith

Dr Keith shared advice regarding measles


Outbreaks have been reported around the country including London, but the West Midlands has seen the highest cases on record since the mid-1990s.

It’s been reported that Pop-up MMR vaccinations have been set up in the Black Country as they have seen a dramatic increase in measles cases across the West Midlands.

To start with the clinics were aimed at 12- to 16-year-olds, but have been extended to children over give and adults who have missed a dose.

Getting your children vaccinated is really important, according to Dr Tamara Keith, a GP at Bottisham Medical Practice in Cambridgeshire.

She says “two doses of the MMR vaccine is 97 per cent effective against measles and is the best way you can protect your child from getting measles".

She added: “It can cause all sorts of complications and give your child seizures, pneumonia, they can end up in hospital and in the very worst cases it can actually prove fatal. I’m not saying that to scare people but with a simple vaccination given to your child you can protect them against measles."

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