HEALTH ALERT Map reveals the most dangerous UK towns for measles as cases reach three-year high – is your family at risk?

A MAP has revealed where in England and Wales is experiencing the biggest surge in measles cases.

There were 451 suspected infections between July and October 22 - over double the 204 cases seen during the same period in 2022.

Map reveals most dangerous UK towns for measles

It comes as MMR vaccination uptake is at a 12-year low, separate figures show, and cases of the bug surge globally.

Experts fear more outbreaks of the bug, which can sometimes cause severe disease in children, are likely.

The Notification of Infectious Diseases report (NOIDS), which tracks suspected infectious disease cases in England and Wales, showed there was 27 cases of measles in the week ending October 22.

Infection rates have been consistently high for past week, jumping to 33 during the week ending October 8, the Government data revealed.

Prof Helen Bedford, an expert in child public health at University College London, told The Sun the rise in measles was "concerning."

She said: "Measles is a nasty infection, making children feel very ill.

"Complications are common and can be serious such as pneumonia, ear infections, fits and even, less commonly, inflammation of the brain."

Alastair Sutcliffe, a professor of general paediatrics at University College London, said more outbreaks of the bug could be looming.

"An outbreak amongst the unvaccinated including deaths is possible, if rapid catch-up vaccination is not brought in," he previously told The Sun.

Vaccine uptake varies hugely in England, dropping significantly in some areas of London, according to separate UK Health Security Agency data.

This year, only 85 per cent of five-year-olds are fully vaccinated with the MMR jab, which protects against Measles Mumps and Rubella.

At least 95 per cent of people are needed to be vaccination for herd immunity, according to the WHO.


London appears to be one of the hardest hit areas in the country. There have been seven positive tests with Ealing reporting the most infections, followed by Lewisham, Brent, Hillingdon and Hounslow.

Four positive tests came from Wales, with one from Cardiff and the three others from valley towns: the Vale of Glamorgan, Rhondda and Torfaen.

On the other end of the scale comes the South West of England, which recorded no cases.

The North West reported three cases, which came from Stockport, Wigan and Knowsley.

The South East also reported three cases from Rushmoor, Spelthorne and Woking.

The East Midlands and the East of England both reported two cases: one in Bolsover, another in Chesterfield and two in Southend-on-Sea.

Yorkshire and Humber and the North East each reported one case in Ryedale and Hartlepool respectively.

While the North East of England also reported just one case, which came from Solihull.


Prof Bedford added that we can "stop measles in it's tracks" by ensuring all kids get jabbed - and those who have missed out catch up.

All children are offered the first dose of the super-effective MMR vaccine at age one and then the second at age three –  but people can catch up on missed jabs at any age.

UKHSA has warned measles is now “ramping up globally” and a growing number of young Brits are unprotected.

Dr Vanessa Saliba, epidemiologist at UKHSA, said: “It’s never too late to catch up, and you can get the MMR vaccine for free on the NHS whatever your age.

“Measles spreads very easily and can lead to complications that require a stay in hospital.

Measles is one of the world's most infectious viruses and can cause pneumonia or even death in the most serious cases.

It can spread by coughs, sneezes and physical contact with an infected person.

Symptoms include a classic blotchy reddish brown rash, as well as a fever and sore, red eyes.

Most people start to get better with bed rest after around a week but people should call their GP or NHS 111 if they think there is a case in their home.

What are the symptoms of measles?

AROUND 10 days after the illness is contracted, signs become noticeable.

The NHS outlines the initial symptoms of measles…

  • cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing, and a cough
  • sore, red eyes that may be sensitive to light
  • a high temperature (fever), which may reach around 40C (104F)
  • small greyish-white spots on the inside of the cheeks

A few days after these flu-like symptoms manifest, a rash often begins to appear.

Distinctive red-brown blotches spring up on the body, typically beginning at the upper neck and spreading downwards.

Severe complications can occur, including miscarriage in pregnant women, brain swelling and the risk of death from pneumonia.

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