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Parents urged to consider MMR jab

Health experts in the north east are advising parents to give their children the MMR vaccine after a significant increase in cases of mumps and measles throughout the region.

The Health Protection Agency North East said cases of mumps in people aged between 16 and 25 have risen, while 131 cases of measles were confirmed in the region last year - the largest outbreak for 20 years.

The MMR vaccine protects people against both viruses.

Teenagers and young people are also being urged to get two doses of the vaccine as they are vulnerable to catching mumps, which is prevalent among student populations.

Sue Gordon, acting executive director of public health for NHS North of Tyne, said: "We have seen a sharp rise in the figures for measles across the north east and, more recently, mumps; and those who have not had two doses of MMR vaccine are particularly vulnerable.

"We would urge everyone to consult their family doctors about having two doses of MMR vaccine if they are currently unprotected.

"It's never too late to get your child vaccinated. If they've missed out on MMR in the past it's always possible for them to catch up. Just contact your local GP."

Health Protection Agency