Director of Public Health warns Cumbrians of risk of measles

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Cumbrian parents are urged to check children’s MMR vaccine records following national rise in measles cases. 

Parents are being asked to make sure children are fully up to date with their MMR vaccinations after cases of Measles were confirmed in the Northwest.

Parents can check their child’s vaccine records by looking in their “Red Book” or asking their GP.
Measles is a highly infectious disease that can lead to serious problems such as pneumonia, meningitis, and on rare occasions, long-term disability, or death.

Symptoms include a high fever, sore red watery eyes, and a blotchy red brown rash, and it is particularly easy to catch in environments when in close contact with others.

Anyone with symptoms is being advised to stay at home and phone their GP or NHS 111 for advice.
In the Northwest, uptake of both doses of the vaccine by age five was below 90% in more than half of local authorities in the region and less than 80% in some areas. This is well below the 95% target set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Children are offered the first dose of the MMR vaccine which protects against Measles, Mumps, and Rubella when they turn one-years-old and the second dose at three years and four months. However, if a child or adult hasn’t had two doses of the vaccine, it’s not too late to book a vaccination appointment with their GP.  

Colin Cox, Director of Public Health for Cumberland Council and interim Director of Public Health for Westmorland and Furness Council said:

“The UK Health Security Agency is urging people to check that they and their families are up to date with their MMR vaccines, particularly before they travel this summer and before attending summer festivals where measles can spread more easily.

“Measles, mumps and rubella are highly infectious conditions, and the MMR vaccine provides safe and effective protection against all three.

“Getting vaccinated is important, as these conditions can spread easily amongst unvaccinated people and lead to serious problems including meningitis, hearing loss and problems during pregnancy.”

More information on the MMR vaccine can be found on the NHS website.