The following is the latest press release about measles in Shropshire.
As children and young people prepare to return to schools in Shropshire after Easter, all parents are being reminded to ensure that they are protected against measles.
This follows an increase in cases of measles across the country, and in particular Wales.
Shropshire Council and Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group, working with Public Health England, are urging parents to protect their children against measles by ensuring they have been immunised with the necessary two doses of MMR.
Professor Rod Thomson, Director of Public Health for Shropshire Council, advised:
“Following increased cases of measles nationally, we are reminding parents to ensure their children have been given their two doses of MMR vaccine which protects against Measles, Mumps and Rubella. Measles is potentially very serious and can be fatal, so please don’t let your son or daughter run the risk of catching this highly infectious disease.
“We are advising parents that if their child has missed one or both doses of MMR they should contact their GP surgery to arrange immunisation.”
Currently 96.7% of Shropshire’s 2-year-olds have had their first MMR jab, but this falls to 91.4% for children having their second injection by age 5. Although these figures are higher than the national average, the local NHS and Shropshire Council are committed to increasing the numbers of children receiving both vaccines.
Both immunisations are necessary to ensure that children are fully protected. Although the vaccines are normally given at the age of 13 months and between 3 years 4 months and 5 years, children of any age, including teenagers and young adults, can still be vaccinated if they missed out on immunisation when they were younger.
Dr Caron Morton, Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s Accountable Officer, added:
“Measles can be an unpleasant and potentially fatal illness, which is why we strongly encourage any parents who have not had their children immunised to contact their GP practice and make an appointment.
“Immunisation is the best way to protect your children from catching measles; it is tested, effective and safe. Although most children recover within a few weeks, in serious cases measles can lead to meningitis or pneumonia. For more information on measles visit www.nhs.uk. If you think your child has measles, please contact your GP surgery who can offer advice and support.”
Common symptoms of measles include:
- cold-like symptoms
- red eyes and sensitivity to light
- greyish white spots in the mouth and throat.
After a few days a red-brown spotty rash will appear. It usually starts behind the ears, then spreads around the head and neck, before spreading to the legs and the rest of the body.
If you suspect measles, please contact your GP in the first instance. Please remember your child should not return to school until at least five days after the appearance of the rash.
For more information on measles visit NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk.