Measles update from Public Health England
19 June 2019 (by admin)
Information from Public Health England regarding Measles.
Please see letter below from Public Health England. There is more information on our "News and Letters" page.
If your child has not had two doses of MMR, please contact your GP to arrange for them to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccination before being in contact with a case will protect your child; and even if done afterwards it can mean they do not get as ill as they would otherwise have done.
What is measles?
Measles is an infection caused by the measles virus. It can spread very easily.
People with measles usually start to become unwell about one to two weeks (sometimes up to three weeks) after a contact with an infectious case.
Initial symptoms can include:
cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing, and a cough
sore, red eyes (conjunctivitis) that may be sensitive to light
a very high temperature (fever), which may reach around 40°C (104°F)
small greyish-white spots on the inside of the cheeks
A few days later, a red-brown blotchy rash will appear. This usually starts on the head or upper neck, before spreading outwards to the rest of the body.
People with measles are infectious from just before they become unwell, and remain infectious during the initial stages (when you might not realise they have measles, as cold-like symptoms usually have another less serious cause) and until four or five days after the rash appears. They should be kept away from school, nursery, and from other children and vulnerable people throughout this period (until 5 days after the rash appears).
Measles can be serious, particularly for people who have a weakened immune system. The best way to prevent measles is through vaccination. If you have had two MMR vaccine doses or you are an older adult who had measles as a child then you are very unlikely to catch measles.
What if you become unwell?
If you become unwell and think it could be measles you should see a doctor. You should ring the doctor or clinic beforehand so they can make sure you do not pass the disease to others in the waiting room.
Take this information sheet with you and tell your doctor that you may have been in contact with someone with infectious measles. Your doctor should seek advice from the local Health Protection Team (postcode search for local unit and phone number at https://www.gov.uk/contacts-phe-regions-and-local-centres ).
Who needs medical advice?
(This section only applies to people who have been in contact with somebody who is likely to have measles.)
People with a weakened immunity: If you have a weakened immunity then you may become more seriously unwell if you get measles. If you think you might have been in contact with somebody with measles, then you should seek advice from your doctor – ideally by phone as you may be infectious to others in the waiting area.
Pregnant women: If you are pregnant and not sure of your immunity it may also be worth seeking your doctor’s advice.
Children under one year: If you know that your child, aged under one year, has been in contact with a case, please also contact your doctor for advice.
If you are unsure if you are protected from measles, check with your doctor. If you are not fully vaccinated, you can be vaccinated for free, on the NHS, at any age (although if you were born before 1970 then you are likely to have had measles as a child, and you may not require the vaccine.
If you would like more information on measles visit http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/measles/Pages/Introduction.aspx