Millions of parents have been issued with a fresh warning to ensure their children are vaccinated against measles as new figures show cases have emerged across every region in England.

The UK Health Security Agency was forced to declare a national incident last month after a major outbreak in the West Midlands in which hundreds of children developed the potentially deadly disease.

On Thursday, an epidemiology report published by the agency revealed clusters of cases had been recorded hundreds of miles away from the original hotspot in every part of the country.

Cases have been been found in London, the north-west, the north-east, Yorkshire and the Humber, the east Midlands, the east of England, the south-east and the south-west, UKHSA said.

More people have been coming forward to get a jab in recent weeks but hundreds of thousands of children remain unvaccinated, health bosses said.

Dr Vanessa Saliba, a consultant epidemiologist at the UKHSA, said: “As expected, due to worryingly low MMR vaccine uptake in some areas across the country, we are now starting to see clusters of cases in other regions.

“While parents are coming forward to take up the offer of the MMR vaccine for their children, there are still hundreds of thousands of children who remain unprotected and therefore remain at risk of serious complications or lifelong disability, but measles is completely preventable with vaccination.

“I strongly urge parents to take up the offer of the MMR vaccine now to make sure their child is protected.”

There have been an additional 56 cases in the last week, according to the UKHSA data, bringing the total number since October last year to 521.

They include 358 in the West Midlands, 71 in London, 37 in Yorkshire and the Humber, 20 in the east Midlands, 18 in the north-west, eight in the south-west, four in the south-east, four in the east of England, and one in the north-east.

Measles can lead to serious complications, lifelong disability and death. It can affect the lungs and brain and cause pneumonia, meningitis, blindness and seizures.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, the UKHSA also announced on Thursday it had launched an investigation into why cases of tuberculosis had increased in England.

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There was an 11% rise in TB cases in England in 2023 compared with 2022, provisional data shows. There were 4,850 cases last year, higher than pre-pandemic levels, the UKHSA said.

Tuberculosis is an infection that usually affects the lungs. It can be treated with antibiotics but may lead to serious problems if left untreated.

Dr Esther Robinson, the head of the TB unit at the UKHSA, said collective action was needed to stamp out the preventable infection.

“Not every persistent cough, along with a fever, is caused by flu or Covid-19,” she added. “A cough that usually has mucus and lasts longer than three weeks can be caused by a range of other issues, including TB.”

Symptoms of TB include a cough lasting more than three weeks, high temperature, drenching night sweats, loss of appetite and weight loss. “Please speak to your GP if you think you could be at risk,” said Robinson.

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