Residents in Warrington are being encouraged to check that they, their children and teenagers have had two doses of the MMR vaccine following confirmation of a measles outbreak in Liverpool.
Public Health England (PHE) has reported an increase in measles across the country over the past year and take up of the second MMR dose currently stands at nine out of 10 residents in Warrington. PHE is working with Warrington Borough Council’s public health team and the NHS to make sure anyone else who needs a vaccination to protect against the virus is aware.
Measles is a highly infectious viral illness and people with symptoms are advised to stay at home and phone their GP or NHS 111 for advice. It is possible for anyone at any age to get measles and the illness can be more severe in teenagers and adults than in young children.
Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, executive board member for public health and wellbeing, said: “The free MMR vaccine is a safe and effective way of protecting against measles, as well as mumps and rubella.
“If children and young adults have missed the MMR vaccine in the past, it’s important to visit your GP to arrange a vaccination, particularly in light of the outbreak in Liverpool. You can check your child’s Red Book to see if they have previously received a scheduled MMR vaccination.
“If you are unsure whether your child or teenager has received the required two doses of the vaccination, check with your GP. It’s better to seek clarification than run the risk of your children or family members not receiving the MMR vaccine.”
Measles symptoms to be aware of include:
– high fever
– sore, red, watery eyes
– aching and feeling generally unwell
– a blotchy red brown rash, which usually appears after the initial symptoms.