Measles warning

A nurse handles a syringe at a medical centre in Ashford, Kent. Health chiefs have renewed an urgent warning that a growing measles outbreak could leave children unprotected by the MMR jab brain-damaged or dead. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday March 21, 2013. Sixty-four extra cases in the Swansea area of south Wales in the last week have seen the numbers affected rise to 316. It follows a similar warning last week when 43 extra cases were reported and the headline infection rate rose to 252. See PA story HEALTH Measles. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
A nurse handles a syringe at a medical centre in Ashford, Kent. Health chiefs have renewed an urgent warning that a growing measles outbreak could leave children unprotected by the MMR jab brain-damaged or dead. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday March 21, 2013. Sixty-four extra cases in the Swansea area of south Wales in the last week have seen the numbers affected rise to 316. It follows a similar warning last week when 43 extra cases were reported and the headline infection rate rose to 252. See PA story HEALTH Measles. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

PEOPLE are being urged to get immunised following a rise in cases of measles.

The North East Public Health England (PHE) Centre says there have been 214 confirmed cases and 220 suspected cases of the illness in the region since the beginning of September last year when the numbers started rising.

This is an increase of four confirmed and 24 suspected cases on the previous week, and sees five cases in Hartlepool and eight in County Durham.

Julia Waller, immunisation lead for the North East PHE Centre, 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.

“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. If anyone is unsure about their immunisation status they should check with their GP. If you’ve missed out on MMR in the past it’s always possible to catch-up.”