There is a big risk of a significant measles outbreak in Northamptonshire according to a doctor whose patient recently contracted the highly contagious disease.
Speaking at this morning’s health and wellbeing partnership Corby GP Dr Joanne Watt said the below national average uptake of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine in Northamptonshire was ‘really worrying’ and said ‘we will see more cases’.
A patient with the highly infectious airborne disease was treated at Kettering General Hospital last month and the hospital had to warn other patients who had attended on September 23 that they may have been exposed to the disease.
Latest figures compiled for the Northamptonshire Health Protection Committee Annual Report for 2018/19 show that almost 13 per cent of five-years-olds in the county had not had their double dose of the MMR vaccine.
The national target is that 95 per cent of five-year-olds are vaccinated.
Dr Watt said there is a lot of complacency and false fear which is leading to some parents not having their child immunised.
She said: “We would urge people to get their child vaccinated as the vaccines are safe.
“People are worried about doing something to their child more than the diseases happening.”
She also said if fewer people are vaccinated it impacts on the vulnerability of the local population to the disease and that Northamptonshire was ‘falling below the levels needed for herd immunity’.
Contracting measles can lead to serious health problems. It typically starts with cold-like symptoms and develops into a red-brown blotchy rash.
Public Health England has said there are currently sporadic cases across the East Midlands and that people have not had their double dose of the vaccine are more at risk.
Anyone who has not had their double dose of the jab can contact their surgery for a booster.