Sheffield school's measles outbreak halted by vaccine jabs, meeting told

A measles outbreak in Sheffield last year resulted in more than 40 children getting the MMR vaccine for the first time to stop the disease spreading.

In total, 12 cases were confirmed in the outbreak, a council meeting heard.

The vaccinations, at an unnamed school in the north of the city, prevented further waves of cases, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said.

Ruth Granger, Sheffield Council's lead on infectious diseases, said outbreaks could cause "massive disruption".

The outbreak in Sheffield in November was linked to a nursery that was part of a school, a meeting of Sheffield City Council's health and wellbeing board heard.

There had been an increase in measles cases across England since October, according to the UKHSA.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said measles was a "highly contagious disease" most common in children.

'Really tough job'

Ms Granger, a consultant in public health, told the meeting that Sheffield's vaccination level was currently 86% - lower than the 95% target set by the WHO.

Lower uptake levels were linked to areas of high social and economic deprivation, she added.

"We have to acknowledge this is a really tough job trying to increase vaccination. We've got lots of colleagues who've been at this for a very long time," said Ms Granger.

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, she told councillors that measles could have "serious health implications for children".

"As well as that, it can cause massive disruption to health services by having to identify people who have been contacts, or staff being off work," she said.

North Sheffield GP and board member Dr Leigh Sorsbie told the meeting it was "not just about vaccine uptake".

"It's about the way people have to live in multi-generation families, often in very crowded conditions, and it's much easier for infectious diseases to be transmitted."

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