Town is hotspot for measles

A MEASLES awareness road show is coming to Ipswich this week after it was revealed that the town is a hotspot for the illness.

A MEASLES awareness road show is coming to Ipswich this week after it was revealed that the town is a hotspot for the illness.

The Is Your Child Safe? campaign is visiting 12 hotspots across the country to give parents the opportunity to talk with health professionals and get the facts on measles and other childhood illnesses, including tips on how to prevent them.

It comes as new figures reveal that uptake of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is lower than Suffolk health bosses would like.

The number of children being vaccinated against the disease is still lower than levels needed to adequately protect the population, according to NHS East of England.


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In the first five months of this year alone there have been 45 confirmed cases of measles in the East Anglia, according to figures from the Health Protection Agency.

Brian Keeble, NHS Suffolk's immunisation co-ordinator, said: “While uptake in the NHS Suffolk region at five years of the measles vaccination is lower than we'd like, it is above the regional and national average.

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“We would like to remind parents that it's important they ensure their children are protected against this unpleasant and potentially dangerous disease.”

Though preventable, measles is a highly infectious disease and can cause other health complications.

It spreads very easily and as a result 95 per cent of the population needs to be vaccinated to prevent outbreaks.

Serious complications include deafness, meningitis or brain damage, and around one in 15 children are at risk of developing these additional illnesses. One in 5,000 who contracts measles will die.

n. The new measles awareness campaign, launched by the Department of Health, will visit Ipswich on Friday.

n. Are you concerned not enough people are having the vaccine? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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