Measles outbreak declared on Merseyside

Published on Monday, 20 February 2012 11:45
Posted by Scott Buckler

A measles outbreak has been declared on Merseyside. There are 13 confirmed and 16 suspected cases ranging in age from nine months to adults aged in their 20s. Six people, four children and two adults, required treatment in hospital

This compares to just one confirmed case on Merseyside in the first six weeks of 2011 and one in the corresponding period of 2010.

Parents are urged to ensure that their children are fully vaccinated. If in doubt about their child’s vaccination status they should ask their GP for advice.

Dr. Roberto Vivancos, a Consultant with the Health Protection Agency (HPA), said: “Measles is circulating in the community. We have alerted GPs and asked them to notify us of any cases they come across. We are also asking parents and GPs to do all they can to ensure that children are fully protected by MMR vaccine.”

MMR is safe, effective and reliable. Two doses give full immunity against measles, mumps and rubella, diseases that can be very serious.

The first dose of MMR vaccine is normally given at age 13 months and the second between the ages of 3 and 4 years, before the child goes to school. However, children of any age, including teenagers and young adults should still consider vaccination if they missed out at the recommended ages. It’s not too late.

The HPA is also advising people with symptoms of measles to:

 

  • Stay away from school, nursery or work until four days have elapsed after the development of a rash.
  • Telephone their GP for advice before attending GP surgeries, NHS walk-in centres or hospital A & E units. If it is necessary for a child or adult with measles to attend an NHS facility, the GP can telephone the facility in advance to make arrangements that will minimise the measles patient’s contact with other vulnerable patients.
  • Avoid contact with pregnant women as they are more vulnerable to infection and measles is highly infectious.
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