Page last updated at 19:32 GMT, Friday, 17 April 2009 20:32 UK

Jab reminder after measles cases

MMR vaccine
Parents are urged to ensure their children get the MMR jab

Parents are being urged to get their children vaccinated after an outbreak of measles in Hartlepool.

Public health experts said three confirmed cases and at least 16 other suspected cases of the disease have been reported in the last week.

They said it had affected young children and teenagers in the town.

Executive director of public health for Teesside Peter Kelly urged any parent whose children was not vaccinated to make an appointment to do so.

Health chiefs said the uptake for the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine in Hartlepool was 82% meaning one in five children were at risk of contracting the disease.

Mr Kelly said: "Measles is caused by a very infectious virus. The virus is passed on through direct contact with someone who is infected, for example by kissing them or through breathing in contaminated air."

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