Measles numbers are still on the increase

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THE latest figures for the on-going measles outbreak in the north east published by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) show there are now over 120 suspected cases.

Since the beginning of September, when the numbers started increasing, 63 confirmed cases and 63 suspected cases of the illness have now been reported.

This is an increase of seven confirmed and 14 suspected cases on the previous week.

The majority of cases continue to be in unvaccinated school children and young adults aged between 10 and 30 years.

In partnership with NHS North East, a poster has been produced to raise awareness of the outbreak and to inform those with symptoms of measles of the actions they need to take. These are being sent to GP practices, walk-in centres, hospitals, schools, leisure centres and youth centres across the region.

Julia Waller, immunisation lead for the HPA in the North East 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. Furthermore, if they become ill with measles they could also be a risk to people who are not able to be immunised.”

The viral illness begins with a fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. This is followed with a rash that starts on the face and upper neck a few days later, and then spreads down the upper body, extending to the arms, hands, legs and feet.

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