Anyone who has not been vaccinated or who has a child who missed a dose of the MMR vaccine should see their general practitioner make contact in the light of widespread measles epidemics in Europe.
PHE is particularly concerned about families and students who could travel to Europe with the approach of summer, ie when measles cases have increased in the UK last year. Experts warn that measles is not a trivial disease. It can kill those with weak immune systems, while complications can include meningitis, encephalitis and eye damage.
The last report of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control shows 1,548 cases of highly infectious disease in April. The numbers continued to increase compared to the previous two months and were the highest in France, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Germany.
There have been 231 cases of measles in England in the first three months of the year, says PHE. Parents are asked to make sure their children are taken for their first MMR shot, which is usually around their first birthday, and the second dose after three years, before starting school.
Teenagers should be sure that they have been vaccinated and get another shot if there is doubt. People born between 1998 and 2004 may have lost one or both shots during the alarm caused by an article published by the gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield in Lancet, which suggested a now discredited link between MMR and autism.
"Measles can kill and is incredibly easy to catch, especially if you are not vaccinated. Even one child who misses the vaccine is one too many – if you have any doubts about your child's vaccination status, ask your doctor, as it is not never too late to be protected ", said Dr. Mary Ramsay, head of the immunization of PHE.
"There are measles epidemics across Europe, so if you plan to travel, be sure to check with your family doctor and recover if necessary."
"Over 30 years ago we introduced the MMR vaccine and since then it is estimated that our world-leading vaccination program has prevented 1.8 million painful and potentially fatal cases of measles," said Public Health Minister Seema Kennedy. "The vaccine was a huge catapult for improving the health of children and young people, and it still is. No child or young person should suffer from mumps, measles or rubella, and we must curb this recent increase in cases so as not to see a return of horrific diseases of the past. "
England has not escaped the global rise in measles cases, said Professor Helen Bedford of the Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health of the UCL. "Fortunately, we have access to a free, highly effective and safe means to stop the epidemics in their tracks: the MMR vaccine. Most children have had the MMR vaccine, but many people, particularly adolescents and young adults, in which the disease is often more severe, they have been left un-immunized.
"If you are not vaccinated or not sure you are protected, contact your primary care physician. The vaccination takes only a few minutes, but it will protect you from a bad disease that could lead to complications that could change your life or even your death. of vaccine is good, but two are better for better protection. "