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Measles Jab Plan for Cornwall

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:01am 25th April 2013

It is feared Cornish children could be at risk if measles got into the Duchy.

There is only been one confirmed case so far this year, but five years ago there was an outbreak centred on a school in Camborne.

Doctors are targeting ten to sixteen year olds who missed getting the MMR jab when they were growing up in the nineties and naughties.

Across the country there have already been 587 cases so far this year, compared to 2,000 during the whole of 2012.

Last week Pirate FM revealed that an average of four children in every Cornish class have not had both the MMR jabs they need.

That could leave us vulnerable to an outbreak of the disease.

Doctor Kerry Bailey is a public health consultant in Cornwall and used to work in Wales, which is fighting its own outbreak. She said: "At least 95% of the population need to be immunised with both jabs. Anything below that means if the measles infection does get into a community it can spread more easily.

"I'd recommend anybody who hasn't had both MMR jabs or is not sure, should go to their GP, check their records and have their MMR. It is a safe injection and will protect you against measles."

Health officials in Cornwall are putting together a plan to identify youngsters who missed getting the jab. It could mean some are delivered in school.

Professor Debra Lapthorne speaks for Public Health England in Cornwall. She said: “Measles is a potentially fatal but entirely preventable disease so it is very disappointing that we have seen outbreaks in the area. The catch-up programme set out today recommends an approach to specifically target those young people most at risk. 

"Measles is not a mild illness - it is very unpleasant and can lead to serious complications as we have seen with more than 100 children in England being hospitalised so far this year."

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