Highest number of measle cases in town for 12 years
8:52am Wednesday 9th January 2013 in News
MORE than a third of measles cases in Greater Manchester last year were in Bolton.
Figures for 2012 have revealed Bolton had 67 confirmed cases of measles and 12 probable cases which have not yet been confirmed.
This is a huge increase from 2011, when there was just one case of measles in the town.
In Greater Manchester, health protection staff had 670 notifications of possible cases of measles, of which just 150 were confirmed as measles.
Health protection specialist Graham Munslow, from NHS Bolton, has said it is the highest number of cases in Bolton in more than 12 years.
He has urged parents to make sure their children are vaccinated with the MMR jab and health protection staff are targeting schools, nurseries and GP practices to try and stop the outbreak of the disease spreading.
Mr Munslow said most of the children affected are babies under the age of 12 months, who are too young to have had the jabs, and youngsters aged about 11 to 14, whose parents decided not to get their children immunised after controversial research was published which claimed to link the MMR jab with autism.
A number of these youngsters have either not had the MMR jab or only had the first injection and not the booster.
In early December, Harper Green Secondary School and a private nursery in Bromley Cross were hit by a measles outbreak affecting more than 30 children. Mr Munslow said parents should contact their GP and find out whether their children were fully vaccinated.
Cllr Andy Morgan, who sits on the Health, Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said: “I would urge all parents to give their children the MMR jab, not just for the benefit of their own children but obviously to prevent the risk of infection to other more vulnerable residents.
“Occasionally, measles can lead to many different complications, including pneumonia and ear infections.
“However, one child in 1,000 with measles will go on to develop encephalitis or meningitis, which can be fatal or cause disabilities such as deafness. ”