In Ireland’s West Cork county the number of measles cases rose from 51 to 64 during the month of June. In Great Britain measles rates are more than five times higher than last year - 496 cases reported since January this year compared with 90 for the same period last year. While the outbreaks in Merseyside and Wales appear to have come under control the spread of the virus disease in Sussex shows no signs of slowing. There have been 129 cases of measles in Brighton and Hove since January , with 15 adults among those affected. At least 95% of a population should be vaccinated to prevent an outbreak but in Brighton and Hove the number of under-fives who have had both doses is below 80%. Health officials believe the disease is being spread by families holidaying on the continent, particularly France, which is currently in the grip of a major epidemic. Across Europe in general there have so far been more than 11 000 cases this year.
Two vaccinations with the mumps-measles-rubella (MMR)vaccine are necessary to induce protective immunity and adults born before 1982 may not have had both. If in doubt, or if there is no clear history of having had the disease, vaccination before travel is strongly recommended.