SWANSEA, Wales, April 13 (UPI) -- Nearly 700 children in Wales have contracted measles and health officials say they fear a wider outbreak because about 40,000 children are not inoculated.
Fear of vaccination has persisted in the United Kingdom even though speculation the measles-mumps-rubella shot is linked to autism has been debunked, the BBC said Saturday.
Dr. Meirion Evans of Public Health Wales said the 693 measles cases documented in Swansea, Wales, so far could "easily double" in short order and spread to other towns due to the number of children in school who have not been vaccinated.
"Nowhere in Wales is safe from measles and I think that is true of the U.K. as a whole," Evans said.
Fear of an outbreak has prompted an uptick in vaccinations, officials said. About 1,300 people turned up at emergency rooms and clinics to get the shot Saturday.