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Health chiefs urge parents to get children immunised against measles

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Dudley health chiefs are urging parents to ensure their children are vaccinated against measles following outbreaks of the disease across the West Midlands.

More than 100 cases of measles are confirmed across parts of the West Midlands and, while take-up of the vaccine is relatively high in Dudley, if parents have missed vaccinations they are being urged to book an appointment with their GP.

Measles is a serious illness and can lead to pneumonia and encephalitis, but it is preventable.

The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is given to a child at one year and a booster at three years four months.

Deborah Harkins, Director of Public Health in Dudley, said:

Measles can be a very serious infection for children, which can spread very rapidly if they’re not immunised. While the uptake of the MMR vaccine in Dudley is relatively high, we must ensure local children receive the two vaccines before starting school to reduce the risk of an outbreak in Dudley, like we’re seeing in other parts of the West Midlands. The MMR vaccine is a safe and effective way of protecting against measles, as well as mumps and rubella.The only way for parents to make sure their child is fully protected is to ensure they have received both doses of the vaccine.

If your child has not received their full MMR vaccination, or you are not sure if they have, please contact your GP.

Symptoms of measles include:

  • high fever
  • sore, red, watery eyes
  • coughing
  • aching and feeling generally unwell
  • a blotchy red brown rash, which usually appears after the initial symptoms

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