Send us news by text, start your message Star News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Measles outbreak now hits the 20 mark in St Helens
9:45am Tuesday 14th August 2012 in News
THE largest measles outbreak on Merseyside since 1988 has seen 20 people in St Helens struck down with the condition since the start of the year.
In figures issued by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), St Helens is the fourth highest in the region after Liverpool, Knowsley and Sefton.
Across Merseyside, the number has reached 414, with 173 under further investigation.
The HPA said that around 35 per cent of these cases are in children between five and 19.
Dr Sam Ghebrehewet, of the HPA’s Cheshire and Merseyside Protection Unit, said: “Measles is an avoidable illness that is highly infectious and spreads easily among people who are not protected by two doses of MMR vaccine.
“In this outbreak we have seen large numbers of children and teenagers become ill because they were not vaccinated as children.
"These together with unvaccinated younger children have put infants too young to be vaccinated and those with underlying illnesses at serious risk of contracting measles.”