PARENTS across Sandwell and Dudley are being urged to check that they and their children have had two doses of MMR vaccine following cases of measles breaking out across the region.

Public Health England (PHE) West Midlands is working with councils and local NHS partners to make sure that anyone who needs the vaccination is aware.

Most of the recent cases reported in the region had not received the required two doses of the free MMR vaccine.

Those affected are all recovering, but Dr Bharat Sibal, of PHE, said it was important to be aware that measles could be a very serious illness and lead to severe complications.

He said: “Measles is a highly infectious viral illness. If you think you could have measles, it is really important to stay away from areas where you could come into contact with lots of other people – especially vulnerable patients in hospitals, care homes or other settings.

“I would urge anyone with symptoms to stay at home and phone their GP or NHS 111 for advice, rather than visiting the surgery or A&E, to prevent the illness spreading further.

“It is possible for anyone at any age to get measles and the illness can be more severe in teenagers and adults than in young children.”

PHE has reported an increase in measles across the country over the year.

Measles symptoms to be aware of include:

• high fever

• sore, red, watery eyes

• coughing

• aching and feeling generally unwell

• a blotchy red brown rash, which usually appears after the initial symptoms.