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Measles cases rise to 886

Public Health Wales has reported that the number of measles cases has risen to 886, as children have gone back to school after Easter. 25-year-old Gareth Williams died during the epidemic, it has not been confirmed whether measles was the cause.

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The discredited doctor at the heart of the MMR scare

Dr Andrew Wakefield makes a speech ahead of his hearing at the General Medical Council in 2010 Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has told MPs that the work of the Dr Andrew Wakefield caused "huge damage and worry to thousands of parents".

Research published by the Dr Andrew Wakefield in 1998 suggested a link between the triple vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella and autism.

Published in the respected Lancet medical journal, the report received widespread media attention and lead to a significant decline in children being given the MMR vaccine.

But concerns were raised when other scientists failed to recreate his results and the General Medical Council launched a review of the research.

The Sunday Times journalist Brian Deer exposed significant flaws in Dr Wakefield's research and ethical practices.

Following an extensive investigation in 2010, the General Medical Council struck Dr Wakefield off the medical register, describing him as "dishonest", "unethical" and "callous".

The GMC found that large parts of the research were falsified, completely discrediting the paper's findings.

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