Measles cases contained

MMR vacine

MMR vacine

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CASES of measles in the borough have finally been brought down to national average levels after months of concern.

There were only seven new cases confirmed in June in the borough, bringing it in line with the expected number of cases for the time of year.

At its peak in March and April, there were around 10 cases being diagnosed every week in the borough, but thanks to extra vaccinations being introduced across the borough, health chiefs say the virus is now under control.

Health bosses put on extra MMR immunisation sessions provided by the School Health Service at six high schools that had the highest number of children not immunised with the triple jab vaccine.

Dr Paul Turner, Wigan Council consultant in Public Health, said: “The observed reduction in confirmed cases of measles is most welcome and is a testament to the hard work by the local School Health Service and General Practices during the last two months.

“It is likely that the number of cases of measles will continue to fall as we enter the school holiday period. However, this is no reason to be complacent as the measles virus has not gone away and when children return to school after the holiday period the number of cases may increase again, particularly in unimmunised and partially immunised children.

“I urge parents of school age children that have never had the MMR vaccine or have had only one dose, to take advantage of the holiday period to arrange with their general practice to get them fully immunised with two doses of MMR vaccine.

“Not immunising your children leaves them with a lifelong risk of developing measles.

“I also urge people who work with children to be sure that they are protected against measles. Not only will this mean you do not catch measles but you will also be protecting the children with whom you work.

“This is particularly important if you are a child minder or work in a nursery where there are children under the age of 12 months that will not have received their first scheduled dose of MMR vaccine.

“Finally, if you are a woman considering starting a family, make sure that you are protected against measles. MMR vaccine is not recommended during pregnancy.

“Therefore, it is better to be protected before you become pregnant.”