Warning as measles bug spreads

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SOUTH Tyneside parents are being urged to get their children vaccinated as cases of measles continue to rise.

The latest figures for the on-going measles outbreak in the North East have been published today by the Health Protection Agency (HPA).

Since the beginning of September last year, when the numbers started increasing, 63 confirmed cases and 63 suspected cases of the illness have now been reported.

This is an increase of seven confirmed, and 14 suspected cases on the previous week.

Julia Waller, immunisation lead for the HPA in the North East, said: “Measles is highly infectious, and unvaccinated children and adults who haven’t had it before are at risk when it is circulating, as it is now in this region.

“Furthermore, if they become ill with measles, they could also be a risk to people who are not able to be immunised, such as babies, who are too young to be vaccinated.

“There is no treatment for measles, but it can be prevented by the MMR vaccine and two doses are required to ensure the best protection.

“That’s why we’re urging parents to make sure that their children are fully immunised and have had two doses of the jab.

To prevent spreading the illness, the HPA is advising people with symptoms of measles to stay at home and ring GP surgeries before arrival.