Intended for healthcare professionals


In brief

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 31 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3393

Measles increases in England and Wales: There were 334 laboratory confirmed cases of measles up to the end of April 2011, compared with 33 over the same period last year and 337 in the whole of 2010. Mary Ramsay, head of the immunisation department at the Health Protection Agency, said, “We again are reminding parents and young adults of the importance of immunisation.” Other European countries have also seen increases in recent months (BMJ 2011;342:d3161).

Most people who died from flu had not been vaccinated: A total of 602 people in the UK were reported to the Health Protection Agency as having died from confirmed flu during the 2010-11 season; 70% of them were aged 15 to 64. Most people who died (373 out of 555) were in an at risk group for vaccination; 75% of those for whom information was available had not been vaccinated.

WHO delays decision on smallpox virus for three years: The World Health Organization has agreed to resume discussions on when to destroy the last known stocks of live smallpox virus until 2014, after debate at the World Health Assembly. Destroying the remaining stocks of variola is seen by some countries as necessary to prevent the risk of unintentional release. But others, including the US and Russia, say more research is needed in case smallpox returns, possibly as a biological weapon.

Hospital admissions for alcohol problems rise in England: More than a million people were admitted to hospital in England in 2009-10 for alcohol related problems—12% more than the previous year and double the number in 2002-3, show figures from the NHS Information Centre’s annual report ( Nearly two thirds of admissions (63%) were for men and more adult admissions were in the older age groups than in the younger age groups.

GSK supports health workers in Africa and Asia: As part of its commitment to reinvest 20% of profits made in the least developed countries back into projects that strengthen their healthcare infrastructure, GlaxoSmithKline has formed a partnership with three leading charities to improve health outcomes by supporting frontline health workers who operate in these countries: AMREF in east and southern Africa, CARE International in Asia Pacific, and Save the Children in West Africa.

BMJ Open authors can share their data: Authors whose research is accepted for publication in one of BMJ Group’s most recent online only titles, BMJ Open, can share the original raw data for their study on or after publication by depositing this with DryadUK, or another data repository, or by posting them on a website and then linking back to their BMJ Open article. DryadUK is an online repository, run by staff based at the British Library and University of Oxford.

Chlamydia is most prevalent STI in Europe: The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has produced data on five sexually transmitted infections (syphilis, congenital syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, and lymphogranuloma) for the period 1990-2009 in Europe. Chlamydia is the most prevalent and on the increase with nearly 344 000 notified cases in 2009. See


Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3393

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