Parents urged to check vaccinations after outbreak

Wetherby parents are being encouraged to check their child’s vaccinations are up to date after a measles outbreak which spread to the North East.

The epidemic, which has so far hit Middlesbrough and South Wales, has seen a reported 200 cases in and around Middlesbrough in the past six months, with an additional 19 last week.

Now Wetherby GP Jacquilyn Aitken, who is partner at the Wetherby Surgery, told the News that parents and residents who are concerned can contact their local GP to check their children’s immunisation status.

Dr Aitken said: “There is no reason for people to be alarmed.

“We at the surgery send out reminders if a child’s vaccinations are not up to date and if they are not sure, they can ring the surgery to check.

“It is really important that people are up to date.”

The Heath Protection Unit for West Yorkshire confirmed there was “absolutely no cause” for alarm in the area after the two recent UK outbreaks.

Children are now required to have two doses of the MMR vaccine – the first at 12 months and the second dose at around three years and four months.

The popularity of the jab dropped after it was wrongly linked to autism and bowel disease in the 1990s.

Now nationwide health chiefs are urging families to get their children vaccinated – and are asking parents to be on the look-out for symptoms.

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness affecting mainly children, students and pregnant, although it can affect anyone.

It is passed from human to human and is usually spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

The early signs include fever, a cough, sore eyes and a red rash.