East Midlands measles cases

15 cases of measles have been recorded in the East Midlands in the first three months of this year.

West Midlands measles cases

13 cases of measles have been recorded in the West Midlands in the first three months of this year.

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National

Nick Clegg urges MMR jabs for children

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has urged parents to overcome their apprehension about the MMR jab.

Speaking to LBC 97.3 Radio, he said: "I really would urge parents, whatever your misgivings, do what people who know about this most say is right for your children - get that course of jabs done."

Read more: Measles Q&A: What is measles and how to treat it

National

What is the MMR jab?

The most effective way of preventing measles is the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

The first MMR vaccination should be given when your child is around 13 months old. A booster is given before your child starts school.

If your child is younger than 13 months and you think they may have been exposed to the measles virus, see your GP immediately.

The MMR may be given if they are over six months old, or they may be given antibodies for immediate protection if they are younger than six months old.

The NHS Choices website has more information on the MMR jab.

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Council push for vaccinations following epidemic

A council in the Midlands is highlighting the importance of the MMR vaccination following a Measles Virus epidemic.

Derby City Council is urging parents who haven't already done so to get children vaccinated against the virus.

The majority of cases in the current outbreaks have been reported in unvaccinated school children and young adults.

We estimate that 4,000 – 5,000 children and young people between 10 and 20 years of age in Derby are not vaccinated against measles and so are not protected against the virus.

– Ben Anderson, Consultant in Public Health for Derby City Council

Measles is a highly infectious disease that spreads very easily and in some cases can cause serious complications and death.

Measles outbreak on 'doorstep'

Health officials have told ITV News Central they are bracing themselves for a potential outbreak of measles. Officials in Herefordshire fear the epidemic in Wales means an outbreak is 'on the doorstep'.

They say that so far this year they've already had the same number of cases as they had for the whole of last year. Charlotte Grant has been speaking to one family, who knows how frightening measles can be.

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Parents given advice to safeguard children against measles

"Measles is a highly infectious and potentially dangerous illness which spreads very easily particularly in schools.

It is crucial that children and young adults are fully immunised with the necessary two doses of MMR".

"The good news is that it is highly preventable when children are immunised with the MMR vaccine, but parents need to make sure their children receive two doses of the vaccine in order to be fully protected against measles.

We are seeing an increase in the number of cases as a direct result of parents not getting their children immunised."

– ELIZABETH SHASSERE, HEREFORDSHIRE'S DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH
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