Warning over first measles outbreak in Leeds since 2009

Image caption,
The HPA said the majority of cases had been reported among students in the city

Health chiefs have said they are concerned about an outbreak of measles in Leeds, the first confirmed cases in the city since 2009.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said 15 confirmed cases and five suspected cases had been reported since February.

The agency said the majority of cases were students, indicating the disease was circulating within the city's student community.

Doctors are urging those not vaccinated to contact their GP.

The HPA said all individuals concerned were recovering well and health professionals had been working to ensure any close contacts of the cases had been identified.

'Dangerous illness'

Dr Mike Gent, consultant in communicable disease control at West Yorkshire Health Protection Unit, said: "Measles can be a very dangerous illness and these recent cases are a cause for concern as they are the first confirmed cases we have seen in Leeds since 2009.

"Prior to vaccination measles was most common among children aged one to four years old.

"However, the recent cases in adults demonstrate that anyone, of any age, who has not been vaccinated against measles is at risk from the disease."

Dr Simon Balmer, public health consultant for NHS Leeds, urged people to get immunised with the MMR vaccine.

"It is never too late for children and young adults to get immunised with the MMR vaccine," he said.

"If you or your child has not been vaccinated please contact your GP or health visitor to arrange to get them protected against what can be a very dangerous illness."

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