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Measles outbreak prompts vaccine campaign

Adults and teenagers urged to check their MMR vaccination status

People are being urged to check they have had the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination after an increase in cases of measles.

Public Health England (PHE) has reported 20 cases in London and the east of England since the beginning of February. 

The cases have occurred predominantly in adults and teenagers who had not been immunised.

PHE has asked people to check that they have received two doses of MMR and to be alert to the symptoms of measles, which can cause serious complications.

Kevin Brown, deputy director of the Virus Reference Department, said: ‘It’s important to be aware that it’s never too late to have the vaccine, so if you’ve not received two doses of the vaccine in the past – or you’re unsure – speak to your GP. There’s no harm in receiving an additional dose where there is any uncertainty.’

Symptoms include runny nose, sneezing and a cough, sore eyes that may be sensitive to light, a high temperature and a red-brown blotchy rash.

A completely discredited health scare linking the MMR jab to autism led to immunisation rates dropping sharply a decade ago, although rates are now over 90% for the first vaccination.

 

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