WIGAN college students and those heading off to university are being urged to make sure they have had all their vaccinations ahead of their courses starting.
The Health Protection Agency North West is urging students to protect themselves against measles, mumps and rubella before beginning university or further education courses this year.
Measles is sweeping the country and here in the North West there has been a major outbreak on Merseyside with more than 440 cases confirmed since the beginning of February this year.
Numerous outbreaks of mumps have occurred in universities and colleges over the past decade.
Dr Paul Cleary, HPA North West’s Regional Epidemiologist, said: “These are highly infectious illnesses that can have serious complications.
“More than 60 of the measles cases on Merseyside needed treatment in hospital and some of these were very ill, requiring intensive care.
“Many of the worst affected were adults and teenagers over the age of 15 years. Thankfully there were no deaths in the Merseyside outbreak, but people do die from measles on rare occasions. This is a disease that should not be treated lightly.”
Two doses of MMR vaccine will give full protection against measles, mumps and rubella.