Page last updated at 17:47 GMT, Monday, 18 May 2009 18:47 UK

Jabs call after measles outbreak

MMR vaccine
The HPA has called on parents to vaccinate their children

Parents are being urged to make sure their children are vaccinated after the largest measles outbreak in the north-east of England for almost 20 years.

The Health Protection Agency said 37 cases had been confirmed so far this year and more than 100 suspected cases were being investigated.

It said figures were already above last year, when there were 17 cases.

It is urging parents to ensure children have had two doses of the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Dr Roberta Marshall, acting regional director for the HPA in the North East, said: "This measles outbreak is very alarming, especially as the majority of these cases could have been prevented as most were in children who were not fully protected with MMR.

"There are still many children out there who were not vaccinated as toddlers over the past decade and remain unprotected.

"Unfortunately this means that measles, which is highly infectious, is spreading easily among these unvaccinated children. Many of these children are now teenagers and still remain at risk."

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