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Measles cases break through the 100 barrier in the North-East
THE number of confirmed measles cases in the North-East has broken through the 100 barrier, with another 93 suspected cases.
The latest figures have been published by the Health Protection Agency (HPA).
Since the beginning of September 2012, when the numbers started increasing, 104 confirmed cases and 93 suspected cases of the illness have now been reported. This is an increase of 22 confirmed and 20 suspected cases on the previous week.
Initially cases were being reported in the County Durham and Darlington areas but from early January, the majority of cases have been reported in the Tees area.
Measles can affect people at any age but 41 per cent of the cases in this outbreak are aged between 10 and 19 years, the majority of which are unvaccinated school children and young adults. However, we are beginning to see an increase in cases in children aged under one, who are too young to be offered routine MMR vaccination. Julia Waller, HPA lead in the North-East said: "Measles is highly infectious and unvaccinated children and adults who haven't had it before are at risk when it is circulating, as it is now in this region.
"There is no treatment for measles but it can be prevented by the MMR vaccine and two doses are required to ensure the best protection.
"If anyone is unsure about their immunisation status they should check with their GP. If you've missed out on MMR in the past it's always possible to catch-up as the vaccine can be given at any age."
Anyone with measles symptoms is asked to ring the doctors surgery or urgent care centre before attending to reduce the risk of infection.
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