Schools are on alert over a highly infectious measles outbreak in Liverpool, as figures show cases have soared this winter.

The city is now a hotspot for the infection among young unvaccinated children, which can cause serious illness and even prove fatal.

Public health chiefs are urging parents to phone their GP to check if their child needs the vaccine.

But they are also warning families not to show up at surgeries, walk-in centres or A&E without calling ahead, to stop other vulnerable patients being infected.

Liverpool is one of several areas across England which has seen rising cases over the past few months.

32 cases have been confirmed in Liverpool and four others on Merseyside and Cheshire in the past six weeks,

That compares to just four in Liverpool over the same period last year.

Cases of measles in Liverpool are on the rise

Why is measles on the rise?

The recent rise is linked to large outbreaks in Europe and not all children being vaccinated.

It marks a significant setbacks in efforts by health bosses to tackle the disease.

The World Health Organisation said only last September that the UK had virtually eliminated it.

But NHS figures show the number of children having their first dose before their second birthday has fallen, and so has the number who have had their second dose before they turn five.

NHS chiefs themselves warned in September: “This drop in MMR uptake over the past few years means there is a risk that cases of measles will start to…

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