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Measles outbreak continues to spread across Merseyside
MORE than 200 cases of measles have been confirmed across Merseyside as the outbreak spreads.
According to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), it is the largest outbreak of the illness since the MMR jab was brought in in 1988.
They say 210 people are suffering from measles, while a further 92 cases are yet to confirmed with tests.
Although half of the cases are children under the age of five, all ages can be affected by the illness with 30% being aged 15 or over.
So far, seven people in Wirral have contracted measles while there are 125 cases in Liverpool; 29 in Knowsley and 22 in Sefton.
Dr. Roberto Vivancos, a consultant with the HPA’s Cheshire and Merseyside Health Protection Unit, said: “It’s obvious from these statistics that people who are not fully vaccinated are not just at risk themselves, but they pose an infection risk to others, such as defenceless babies and toddlers who are too young to be vaccinated.
“Measles is a very infectious illness that spreads rapidly amongst children and adults who are not protected by MMR vaccine.
"It is also a serious illness that can lead to serious complications. On rare occasions, people die from measles.
"It should not be treated lightly, but it is an avoidable illness and we strongly advise parents to ensure that their children are vaccinated.
“Our advice to unprotected teenagers and young adults is to arrange vaccination through your family doctor. It’s never too late to be vaccinated.”
The HPA advises children and adults with measles to avoid contact with others, particularly pregnant women and small children as they are more vulnerable to infection.
They are also recommended to stay away from schools, nurseries and workplaces until at least four days after the onset of the rash.
People with measles are advised to telephone their GP for advice before attending the surgery, NHS walk-in centre or hospital A & E unit to enable arrangements to be made in advance for minimising contact with others.