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Measles epidemic threat

PUBLISHED: 16:15 10 December 2008 | UPDATED: 11:14 12 August 2010

HEALTH chiefs are warning of a measles epidemic after disease rates hit a 15-year high. The figures have been blamed on parents who continue to refuse the combination jab after research, which has since been largely discredited, linked it to autism.

HEALTH chiefs are warning of a measles epidemic after disease rates hit a 15-year high.

The figures have been blamed on parents who continue to

refuse the combination jab after research, which has since been largely discredited, linked it to autism.

There have been 77 cases of measles in Bromley since January.

Bromley Primary Care Trust (PCT) said it has been working closely with GPs to encourage parents to get their children

immunised.

The latest information published by the Health Protection Agency for the second quarter in the year show figures for uptake of the first MMR by a child's second birthday had improved to over 81 per cent while figures for first dose of MMR by the fifth birthday were 85.4 per cent.

But the statistics for the second dose of MMR by the fifth birthday are still too low at 69.4 per cent.

A spokesperson for Bromley PCT said: "We encourage all parents to ensure their child receives two doses of the vaccine to give them full protection against measles."

But some believe parents should be able to vaccinate their children whichever way they see fit.

Mother Debby Ryding runs Desumo, a company which is offering the single jab to parents, said: "I set Desumo up when one of my children had a severe reaction to a baby vaccine and believe that all parents have a right to choose how to vaccinate their children taking into account any family history that may be relevant to them."

For more information about getting the free combination jab, contact your GP.

For information about the single jab see www.desumo.co.uk or call 07855 817431.

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