DEADLY MEASLES leads to DESPERATE plea from Doctors for parents to get children MMR jab

Posted on Jan 17 2018 - 10:23pm by admin

More than 122 cases of measles have now been confirmed in outbreaks affecting five areas of England.

Last month, Public Health England (PHE) and the NHS confirmed that measles had been spotted in Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and Surrey.

Seventy cases of the highly infectious virus had been reported and all of the cases were reported in children and adults that didn’t receive two doses of the MMR vaccine, Public Health England (PHE) said.

Head of immunisation at PHE Dr Mary Ramsay, said: “This serves as an important reminder for parents to take up the offer of MMR vaccination for their children at one year of age and as a pre-school booster at three years and four months of age.

“Children and young adults who missed out on their MMR vaccine in the past or are unsure if they had two doses should contact their GP practice to catch up.

“We’d also encourage people to ensure they are up to date with their MMR vaccine before travelling to countries with ongoing measles outbreaks.”

PHE said the current cases are linked to “ongoing large outbreaks” in Europe.

The health body previously warned that those who recently travelled or were going to travel to Romania, Italy and Germany without receiving two doses of the MMR vaccine are particularly at risk.

The most recent updates show that as of January 9, West Yorkshire had 34 confirmed cases, Cheshire and Liverpool had 29, the West Midlands had 32, 20 in Surrey and seven in Greater Manchester.

PHE said the overall risk of measles is low among the population, as the UK achieved World Health Organisation (WHO) elimination status in 2016, alongside Denmark and Spain.

Dr Ramsay added: “The UK recently achieved WHO measles elimination status and so the overall risk of measles to the UK population is low, however due to ongoing measles outbreaks in Europe, we will continue to see cases in unimmunised individuals and limited onward spread can occur in communities with low MMR coverage and in age groups with very close mixing.”

This means the number of cases in the UK across a period of at least three years was low enough to prevent the disease spreading among the general population.

Measles is a highly infectious viral disease which typically lasts up to 10 days and begins with cold-like symptoms and a measles rash.

It can lead to serious complications, including pneumonia.

The MMR vaccine is a combined inoculation which protects against measles, mumps and rubella and is available to all adults and children who have not completed the course.

The full course requires two doses and anyone who is unsure of their vaccination status is encouraged to check with their GP.

PHE said local health protection teams were working with councils and the NHS to raise awareness among communities and health professionals.

The NHS advises anyone who suspects they, or their child, might have measles to contact their GP.

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