North East and North Cumbria NHS urging parents to vaccinate Hartlepool children after rise in measles cases
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The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has declared a national incident after a rise in cases nationally, warning that measles could spread rapidly causing a national outbreak of the disease.
But the number of children getting their second dose has fallen below the 95% national target required to avoid outbreaks and the rapid spread of the disease.
Dr Neil O’Brien, medical director, North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB), said: “Measles is a highly infectious illness – complications can be life changing with dangers including blindness, deafness and swelling of the brain.
"Anyone over two, that has not yet had their MMR vaccination, is at risk of catching this very serious but completely preventable disease - which is highly likely to spread rapidly if people remain unvaccinated.”
He added: “Whilst overall MMR rates in our region are good, there are still some localised places where it is not high enough to prevent a rapid spread of measles – including areas of Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool."
Any parent who wants to check if their child has been vaccinated can call their GP surgery for advice.”
For further advice visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/measles