Teachers at risk of ‘one of the most infectious diseases’

TES is reporting that teachers without immunisation against measles have been warned they could be at risk of contracting the disease as more children attend school without being given the MMR vaccine.

Around one in five children didn’t have the vaccine against measles in the early to mid 2000s after medical theories, which have since been discredited, linked it with causing autism.

Professor Helen Bedford, of Great Ormond Street children’s hospital, said the take-up rate was even lower in some areas and that the legacy meant teenagers were now being affected by measles.

She said: “Measles is highly infectious, in fact it is considered to be one of the most infectious diseases there is, so it spreads very easily among susceptible people via airborne droplets when infected people cough and sneeze.

She also warned that measles in pregnancy can result in miscarriage, pre-term birth, neonatal low birth weight and even maternal death, and that teachers who have not had two doses of MMR are also “at risk” of contracting mumps, and rubella – which is also dangerous for women in the early stages of pregnancy.

Meanwhile, the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) said it was “worrying” that the take up of MMR had fallen and that it supported the efforts of public health bodies to promote take-up.

General secretary Geoff Barton said: “We would urge anyone who is concerned that they are not immunised to seek advice from the NHS website.”

Read more Teachers at risk of ‘one of the most infectious diseases’

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