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WATCH: Warning for Cornwall amid measles outbreak

WATCH: Warning for Cornwall amid measles outbreak

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 1:59pm 21st August 2018.

It is revealed that almost 600 children in Cornwall are NOT vaccinated against potentially deadly measles.

A warning is going out after a spike in summer cases across Europe and parents are being urged to check their five-year-olds have the jab.

Cases in the UK have also rocketed this year, as figures show parents are still not taking hundreds of young children for their measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines.

The most recent figures show that, in the 2016-17 financial year, 91% of children in Cornwall turning five had received the recommended two MMR jabs.

That means that an estimated 570 five-year-olds in the Duchy had not been vaccinated.

The ECDC warns that areas in which fewer than 95% of the population are vaccinated are at a heightened risk of a measles outbreak.

But only four countries in the EU have hit this target, with the UK among those falling short.

Public Health England (PHE) has issued a warning to people travelling to countries where there have been outbreaks to make sure they are up to date with their measles, bumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination before travel.

Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at PHE, said: "We have seen a number of measles outbreaks in England which are linked to ongoing large outbreaks in Europe.

"The majority of cases we are seeing are in teenagers and young adults who missed out on their MMR vaccine when they were children.

"Anyone who missed out on their MMR vaccine in the past or are unsure if they had two doses should contact their GP practice to catch up.

"We would encourage people to ensure they are up to date with their MMR vaccine before travelling to countries with ongoing measles outbreaks, heading to large gatherings such as festivals, or before starting university."

More than 41,000 measles cases have been reported across Europe in the first six months of the year, including 37 deaths.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the number of cases of the highly infectious disease are at their highest since 2010.

France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine have had more than 1,000 cases each so far in 2018.

But Ukraine has been the hardest hit, with more than 23,000 people affected.

In the UK, babies are usually given the first MMR jab within a month of their first birthday, as part of their routine vaccination schedule. The second is usually given after they turn three.

Children up to the age of 18 who missed their jabs are still eligible to receive them free on the NHS, as are certain vulnerable adults, including pregnant women.

Symptoms of measles

The initial symptoms of measles develop around 10 days after you're infected.

These can include:

  • cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing and a cough
  • sore, red eyes that may be sensitive to light
  • a high temperature (fever), which may reach around 40C (104F)
  • small greyish-white spots on the inside of the cheeks
  • A few days later, a red-brown blotchy rash will appear. This usually starts on the head or upper neck before spreading outwards to the rest of the body.

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