Help to stop the spread of measles

Despite parents' concerns, vaccinations can save lives.
Despite parents' concerns, vaccinations can save lives.

Northumberland County Council is reminding parents of the importance of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine as a very effective way to prevent infection and stop measles from spreading.

There are currently large outbreaks of measles across some areas of Europe and with the summer holidays approaching and increasing travel, there is a risk of measles being brought back to the UK by people who have not been completely vaccinated. There have also been measles cases linked to music festivals and other large events, mainly in teens and young adults.

Elizabeth Morgan, interim public health director, said: “Whatever your age, if you think you or your children may not have received two doses of the MMR vaccine or you are unsure, speak to your GP – it’s never too late to have the vaccine and measles can still be serious in adults.”

Measles is caused by a virus which can spread quickly through coughing and sneezing, person-to-person contact or by touching a contaminated surface. The illness is highly infectious and can cause a rash and high fever. It can also cause serious health complications such as lung and brain infections, especially in babies under a year, teenagers and adults.