Health

Urgent measles warning as UK hit by landmark case of the Victorian-era disease


A new case of measles has popped up in Northern Ireland, and it’s the first one in seven years. Health bosses are telling everyone that this old sickness is back and they’re doing everything they need to do.

The Public Health Agency (PHA) has let people who were close to the sick person know what’s going on. Even though the last time someone got measles in Northern Ireland was in 2017, doctors aren’t shocked because there have been more cases in England and other places in Europe.

Now, the big bosses want all kids and young grown-ups to get their jabs for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) to stop the sickness from spreading. The PHA has started a big push to get people vaccinated with help from health groups and doctors’ offices. They want to reach out to people from 12 months old to 25 years old.

Dr Joanne McClean, who helps look after public health at the PHA, said: “Identification of a case of measles in Northern Ireland was not unexpected, as we have seen a significant rise in cases in England and across Europe. However, in order to help prevent any additional cases here and possible outbreaks, it is vital that those who have not had their two doses of the MMR vaccine to act now and reduce the risks from this highly contagious and potentially deadly disease.

“We have seen a decrease in the numbers of children receiving the MMR vaccines. It is therefore important that children and young adults get any missed MMR vaccines as soon as possible. If you are unsure if your child or you have received the two doses of the MMR vaccine, check the ‘red book’ or contact your GP practice to find out.”

Earlier this month, a person died from measles in the Republic of Ireland. In Northern Ireland, there’s a vaccination catch-up programme going on right now.

It’s for anyone aged between 12 months and 25 years who didn’t get their MMR shots before. If you’ve never had the MMR vaccine, you should get your jabs quickly. You need to leave one month between the first and second dose, and you should do it before the end of March.

Measles can start with symptoms like a runny nose, just like a cold, but then you might get a special rash. It can be really serious and lead to things like pneumonia, meningitis, fits, or even losing your sight.



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