The links between the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination and cases of autism and bowel cancer have been categorically disproved but the perception still persists today and this is putting thousands of young children at risk.
A NHS report from December 2010 showed that just 86.3% of children by the age of 2 had been given the MMR vaccine Manchester in the 12 months prior to this survey, which meant that Manchester was one of the most at risk places in the country and still is today.
This week, the MEN reported that 48 confirmed cases of measles in the North West and a further 108 possible reports. Any parents knows just how quickly infections and illness can be passed onto one another by young children, this danger is more acute with something as highly contagious as measles. The safest thing to do for your children is to get them pre-emptively vaccinated at your local GP if they have not already been.
The symptoms of measles are; cold-like symptoms, a mild to severe temperature, aches and pains, red eyes and sensitivity to light, fever and grayish white spots in the mouth and throat After a few days a red-brown spotty rash will appear, usually starting behind the ears, then spreading around the head and neck before spreading to the legs and the rest of the body.
If you suspect that you or your child has measles please contact your GPs surgery by phone before visiting, the same applies if you need to visit the local walk in centre of or A&E department. This is to reduce the risk of further infections.
Measles can have serious long term health effects and can even cause death very rare cases, so it is not something that should be taken lightly.
I would advise that all children who have not be vaccinated are done so then we will all have one less potential health problem to worry about.
More information on the NHS Choices website can be found at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Measles/Pages/Introduction.aspx