Measles outbreak at primary school in Queen's Park sparks 'special immunisation session'
PUBLISHED: 15:07 03 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:41 04 April 2019
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Four cases of measles at a Queen's Park School have worried parents as figures reveal another eight children in Brent may be infected.
Public Health England (PHE) is visiting Salusbury Primary school, in Salusbury Road, tomorrow for a “special immunisation session”.
Head Michelle Ginty wrote to parents telling them the Early Years music performance on April 4 and the Grandparents’ Lunch on Friday are postponed until after Easter.
She said the school had been asked to avoid community events or trips and visits where children could be mixing with pupils from other schools.
She wrote: “This is very disappointing for us and we realise it will be for many of you too. We hope you understand our situation.”
Parents were told about the first suspected case in a letter on March 29.
One said: “It’s worrying because measles is so infectious and can be harmful.
I’m going to check with my doctor that my child’s booster is up to date. I really hope that people who haven’t had their children vaccinated might reconsider now that it is out there in the school population.”
The four cases are among 12 reported in Brent this year, according to figures from PHE, of which three are confirmed.
Last year 13 children in the borough, out of 25 suspected cases, were confirmed infected - up from eight confirmed cases in 2017.
Dr Yimmy Chow, a consultant at PHE’s local Health Protection Team, said “it’s never too late” to catch up with vaccinations.
“Protecting your children with two doses of the MMR vaccine is the best way to ensure they are not at risk of catching measles, mumps or rubella,” he said, “and preventing their spread to more vulnerable groups, such as newborn babies, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems.
“The first dose is given at one year of age, and the second at three years and four months, but you can get immunised at any time if you have missed out.
“Measles spreads very easily amongst anyone who has not had two doses of MMR, particularly children. The MMR vaccine is safe and free.
“If you are unsure if you or your children have had the full two doses of MMR, contact your GP who will have a record of the vaccinations you have received.”
Cllr Krupesh Hirani, Brent’s Council’s public health chief, said: “The council is aware of four suspected cases of measles in unvaccinated children at Salusbury Primary School and is working with the school and Public Health England to limit further spread.
“Parents who think their child may have measles should contact their GP.
“Children with suspected measles remain infectious for about four days after onset of the rash and should be kept away from school or nursery until after this time.”