Doctors issue warning after significant rise in cases of measles in Gloucestershire
PARENTS are being urged to check their children have received the required two doses of the MMR - measles, mumps and rubella - vaccine.
Doctors issued the warning following a significant rise in measles cases in Gloucestershire.
Sixty-two cases were confirmed in the county between October 2012 and January 2013 - a significant rise compared to the previous two years.
In 2011, just five cases were confirmed for the whole year.
The majority of cases in Gloucestershire have been in children but adults have also been affected.
Anyone who needs advice or is not sure about their vaccination history should contact the practice nurse at their GP practice.
The situation in Gloucestershire is consistent with national trends.
Measles is caused by an infectious virus which typically causes rash, cold-like symptoms, cough, red eyes and high fever.
Doctors say the most effective way to prevent measles is to ensure children have received the routine two doses of the MMR vaccination.
Dr Jeremy Welch, of the Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group Shadow Board, said: "These hospitalisations reinforce how important it is to make sure that you and your children are protected and that is why we are urging the community to make sure that children are fully immunised and have had both doses of the MMR vaccine.
"Measles is a highly infectious and potentially dangerous illness which spreads very easily. If you have missed out on the MMR vaccination in the past it's always possible for a catch-up. Just contact your local GP practice for an appointment."