The total number of laboratory-confirmed cases of measles cases in England in 2018 was 971, more than three times higher than the total for 2017 when 259 cases were recorded.
The new figures from Public Health England (PHE) also show that the age distribution of cases is shifting. Peak rates were seen in the 1-4 years age group in 2018 (n=172; 18%). In 2017, the number of cases peaked in the 10-14 years age group.
The majority (87%) of measles cases in 2018 had no recorded measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination. Just over 6 per cent (n=59) reported receiving one dose of measles-containing vaccine and 6.5 per cent (n=63) reported two doses.
Overall, 320 cases (33%) were admitted to hospital due to measles infection. Of these, 15 experienced serious complications such as pneumonia, meningitis and respiratory failure.
Nearly 8 per cent (n=74) of cases in 2018 acquired their infection abroad. The majority of these reported travel to Europe (42 cases) or Asia (24 cases) where measles has been known to circulate. In 2017, 17 per cent (46 cases) of cases were associated with travel abroad, with 76 per cent of importations associated with travel to Europe.