Health chiefs issue measles warning

By Tim Clarke 17/05 Updated: 18/05 09:09

HEALTH chiefs are urging people to make sure their children are protected from measles after a recent outbreak at a Worcester school.

There were four confirmed cases at Our Lady Queen of Peace Primary School in St John’s last week.

NHS Worcestershire is encouraging all members of the public who have not been fully immunised against the disease to have the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Dr Ash Banerjee, Public Health Consultant, said: “Measles can affect anyone and the only way to ensure protection is to get the MMR injection. It’s given at one and three years of age, is safe and effective and anyone who has missed a dose should get in contact with their GP.”

With only 85 per cent of five year olds fully immunised, children are often most likely to be at risk to infection.

Children who have had single vaccines in the past should still get the MMR.

Dr James Chipwete, Consultant for the Health Protection Agency, said: “Measles is highly infectious so can spread easily among unvaccinated children. If your child does become ill with measles, it can be very serious and cause severe complications.”

“The good news is that it is highly preventable and that’s why it’s crucial children are immunised with the necessary two doses of the MMR vaccine.”

Overseas travel is a major factor in the international spread of the measles virus. Europe is currently experiencing a large and on-going outbreak of measles, with over 30,000 cases a year, particularly affecting teenagers and young adults.

For more information about measles or the MMR vaccination visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/measles/pages/introduction

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