["Health chiefs said the outbreak was mostly affecting young people who were
not fully immunised".  The general public, of course, will conveniently
overlook the word *fully* and blame those of us who have chosen not to
vaccinate.  And these 36 cases, only 28 are actually confirmed - but again,
this media slant will make the higher number more memorable!   Even the
headline is designed to infer unvaccinated kids are to blame.]


Measles outbreaks hit dozens and lack of MMR jabs blamed
By Lyndsay Moss

Health Correspondent

AN OUTBREAK of measles has left three people needing hospital treatment,
prompting calls for parents to ensure their children are fully vaccinated.

Health Protection Scotland (HPS) said it had received reports of 36 cases of
measles so far this year, compared with just four in the whole of 2007.

Health chiefs said the outbreak was mostly affecting young people who were
not fully immunised.

Uptake of the combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) jab fell
significantly after the publication in 1998 of research since discredited
suggesting a link between the vaccine and autism.

The percentage of children being given the MMR jab has since started to
increase, but remains below desired levels.

HPS said the 36 reports of measles represented the first confirmed cases of
the infection in Scotland this year.

NHS Lothian reported 20 confirmed and three probable cases in Edinburgh and
Midlothian, while NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde had eight confirmed and five
probable. Three of those infected were hospitalised but have since been

HPS said the majority of those infected were children under 16 who had not
received the full MMR course. Youngsters are supposed to receive two doses
one aged two and another at five.

Currently, 91.7 per cent of two-year-olds and 94.7 per cent of
five-year-olds in Scotland have received at least one dose of MMR. But in
some areas the level of those immunised at five falls lower, for example 91
1 per cent in Shetland and 93.1 per cent in Highland.

Martin Donaghy, HPS medical director, said: "These cases have occurred in
individuals who have not received a complete course of MMR, which serves to
highlight once more the importance of immunisation in protecting people.

"We would recommend that all children are immunised with two doses of MMR,
which will protect them against measles, mumps and rubella."

Dr Lorna Willocks, immunisation co-ordinator at NHS Lothian, said they
believed the measles cases were linked and added: "We would encourage
everyone to receive protection through vaccination against these potentially
serious childhood illnesses."

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said: "Currently almost nine out
of ten parents in Scotland accept MMR vaccination to protect their children.
We believe children would be safer if this were nearer 100 per cent."


TWENTY schoolchildren have tested positive in TB screening after a teacher
was found to be infected.

One pupil at Notre Dame Primary School, Glasgow, was suspected to have the
disease and 19 had positive skin tests. But the health board said this did
not mean they would develop TB.

The full article contains 445 words and appears in The Scotsman newspaper.
Last Updated: 14 March 2008 10:33 PM