Measles Outbreak in Great Britain - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Measles Outbreak in Great Britain

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Health officials in Great Britain are scrambling to vaccinate one million children against the measles.

They are holding emergency vaccination clinics after more than 1,200 people became infected with the disease this year.

"What we're seeing is predominantly children in secondary school, children between 10 and 16 years old," says Dr. David Elliman of the Royal College of Pediatrics.

More than a decade ago, millions of parents stopped immunizing their children against the highly infectious disease after a medical paper suggested a link between the combined childhood vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella and autism. The paper has since been discredited, but at the height of the scare, immunization rates plummeted.

"This is the group that we are now seeing that has measles."

More than 100 people infected with measles this year had to be hospitalized. Some suffered serious complications including pneumonia and meningitis.

Measles is still one of the leading causes of death in children under 5 around the world. But in industrialized countries, most just get a rash and a fever.

The vast majority of British toddlers are once again being vaccinated.

"It's very important to get vaccinated so we got vaccinated."

"I know there was a little scare about autism and stuff like that, but at the end of the day it's safer that they're immunized than not."

In the United States,there have been 22 cases of the measles this year, including three that were traced back to Britain.

Doctors also worry about protecting children against Rubella as they get older. They say women who are not vaccinated against the disease have a high chance of having babies with severe birth defects if they get infected early in their pregnancies.

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