Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
4:39 PM 14th March 2024

Latest Measles Statistics Published - 14 March 2024


The latest number of laboratory confirmed measles cases in England have been published in an updated epidemiological overview by UKHSA.

Since the last update a week ago, a further 52 laboratory confirmed measles cases have been confirmed in England. However, due to a routine retrospective data cleaning exercise in week 10 of 2024, 34 previously confirmed cases (since 1 October 2023) have been discarded in addition to 21 cases that had been erroneously reported. This brings the total number of cases confirmed since 1 October 2023 to 730.

Further revisions are expected while we continue to publish timely provisional data on a weekly basis to help monitor the current outbreak.

Although the outbreak in the West Midlands initially drove the increase in cases, activity there is now on a downward trend. In recent weeks, small clusters of cases have emerged in other regions such as London and the North West.

In the 4 weeks since 12 February 2024, there have been 151 laboratory confirmed measles cases. The West Midlands accounted for the majority of these (41%, 62 of 151), 26% (39 of 151) of cases have been in London, 12% (18 of 151) in the North West, 7% in Yorkshire and the Humber (11 of 151) and 7% (10 of 151) in the East Midlands.

Since 1 October in England there have been 730 laboratory confirmed measles cases, 17 cases were reported in October, 42 in November, 156 in December 2023, 267 in January, 213 in February and 35 so far in March 2024. 60% (438 of 730) of these cases have been in the West Midlands, 18% (131 of 730) in London and 7% (48 of 730) in Yorkshire and the Humber. The remaining cases were reported in other regions of England.

The majority (462 of 730, 63%) of these cases were in children under the age of 10 and 29% (213 of 730) in young people and adults over the age of 15.

The data published in this epidemiological overview covers the period between 1 October 2023 and 11 March 2024 and is currently provisional, with the number of cases for the most recent months likely to adjust as more suspected cases undergo confirmatory testing and data cleansing.

Dr Vanessa Saliba, UKHSA Consultant Epidemiologist, said:
"While the measles outbreak in the West Midlands is now on a downward trend, we have in recent weeks seen small clusters emerging in other regions and so we cannot be complacent. It only takes one case to get into a community with low vaccination rates for measles to spread rapidly, especially in schools and nurseries. We know that 100s of thousands of children around the country, particularly in some inner-city areas are still not fully vaccinated and are at risk of serious illness or life-long complications but measles is completely preventable with vaccination.

"Our childhood vaccinations campaign is reminding parents of the importance of ensuring their children are vaccinated on time. Parents should check their child’s Red Book now to ensure that children have had their MMR and other routine vaccines. If you’re unsure get in touch with your GP practice and if needed they will bring your child up to date. Respond as soon as possible if the NHS is in touch to catch up."

Epidemiological updates will continue to be published every Thursday.