Measles Cases In London

Parents in London should not be "overly concerned" about the measles outbreak, Mayor of London Boris Johnson said, just 24 hours after experts said they were "worried" about the capital.

Yesterday, as officials launched a national campaign to encourage uptake of the MMR jab, some experts earmarked London as a potential place for an outbreak of the viral illness.

Mr Johnson said that cases in London are rising in line with numbers around the country as he urged parents to ensure their children had received the vaccine - which protects against measles, mumps and rubella.

He said:

"Measles infections in London are rising in line with numbers around England, but having been briefed by senior health officials from Public Health England, and my own health team, I am assured that there is no need for Londoners to be overly concerned.

"However, we need to ensure that everybody has been vaccinated. If anyone, especially parents or teenage children, has questions about measles or MMR, or need to know whether they or their children are fully protected, they should contact their GP surgery for advice."

Yesterday, Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at Public Health England, said there was particular concern about the potential for measles outbreaks in London, the South and East of England where MMR vaccination rates have not been historically as high as other areas in the north of the country.

And Professor David Salisbury, director of immunisation at the Department of Health, added:

''People are densely packed together in London and that is just what measles likes for high levels of transmission, so I worry about London.''