Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Medics in measles jabs plea to Ulster parents by anna maguire

Measles can kill but can be prevented by a simple, safe vaccine, an expert said
Measles can kill but can be prevented by a simple, safe vaccine, an expert said

Parents of children in Northern Ireland have been urged not to be complacent about the risks posed by measles after a major outbreak in Wales.

The Public Health Agency (PHA) has issued advice after hundreds of people contracted the condition in south west Wales.

There were nine confirmed cases of measles here last year, and seven to date this year.

Dr Richard Smithson, consultant in health protection at the PHA, said that nearly 97% of children aged five or over in Northern Ireland have received one dose of the MMR jab.

“However, as measles is so highly infectious, it is essential that every child has two doses of MMR vaccine,” Dr Smithson said, urging parents to contact their GP if their child hasn’t had both doses.

Dr Lorraine Doherty, assistant director at the PHA, said: “It is important that we are not complacent... complete immunisation of every child is vital to prevent infectious diseases and protect life.”

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