|Welsh town at center of UK measles outbreak
A measles outbreak in Britain has affected more than 800 people and up to 2 million schoolchildren are believed to be unprotected due to a scare which linked the vaccine with autism, figures revealed.
The outbreak is centered on the south Wales town of Swansea but health experts warn there is a serious risk that the virus could spread, particularly in London, AFP reports.
Between 1996 and 2012 an average of 550 people contracted the disease each year in Britain, according to Health Protection Agency figures.
Last year, there were 2,030 reported cases, a near-20-year high, and this latest epidemic has already infected 808 people.
Health officials pointed the finger at disgraced doctor Andrew Wakefield's 1998 report, which appeared in prestigious medical journal The Lancet, that linked the joint measles, mumps and rubella jab with autism.
Many parents decided not to have their children immunized as a result.
“Children are going to get measles, there is no question, because there is a great big group – probably of the order of approaching two million children – who are susceptible who have not been immunized.'' said doctor Helen Bedford, from the UCL Institute of Child Health.
The government urged parents to vaccinate their children.