Doctors have been told to keep a close watch for symptoms of measles infections in children amid a “devastating resurgence of virtually eliminated life-threatening diseases” in the UK.
For the first time in decades, the Royal College Of Paediatrics And Child Health (RCPCH) has issued national guidance on the treatment of measles – and has called on the government to immediately publish its “overdue” national vaccination strategy.
NHS data for this year shows no vaccines met the World Health Organisation’s 95% coverage target in England – with the vaccination rate falling to the lowest level since 2010/11.
The RCPCH said many paediatricians would not have previously seen symptoms associated with measles in their careers and urged healthcare workers to check the immunisation status of all children attending hospital.
A sharp increase in the number of measles cases has been seen across the UK this year as vaccination rates for those aged under five fall to their lowest level in a decade.
Parents were warned in May to check the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination status of their children before the summer holidays.
On its new guidance, the RCPCH said: “The UK is now seeing a devastating resurgence of virtually eliminated life-threatening diseases, such as measles.
“Evidence also shows that lower socioeconomic status was associated with lower coverage.”
Last year, the government consulted healthcare workers and the public on how to improve vaccination services by addressing accessibility, misinformation, and distrust of vaccines – with the RCPCH calling for the strategy’s “swift publication”.
‘Many paediatricians fear outbreaks this winter’
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This notice was published: 2023-11-20 16:10:00
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