The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) are warning parents and carers to be vigilant for symptoms of measles and to make sure their children are vaccinated against the infection.
Health services across the country are starting to see an increase in the number of cases of measles.
The advice to parents is to watch out for the symptoms of measles in their children and act if they suspect they have the infection. Measles usually starts with cold-like symptoms, followed by a rash which usually starts on the face or behind the ears a few days later. Some people may also get small spots in their mouth.
The first symptoms are:
· high fever
· sore, red, watery eyes
· aching and feeling generally unwell
· a blotchy red/brown rash on white skin. It may be harder to see or more subtle on brown and black skin.
Measles is extremely infectious and can be serious for some people, although if your child has had both MMR jabs the likelihood they will catch it is very low. It can spread quickly and easily so, if you think anyone in your family has the symptoms of measles, please stay at home and phone your GP or NHS 111 for advice. Please do not attend the GP surgery as you could spread the illness to vulnerable people. If it is absolutely necessary to bring your child into your GP surgery, a walk-in centre or a hospital emergency department do not use public transport to get there as you will risk infecting others.
The best way to prevent your children getting measles is to make sure they have their two MMR vaccines on time – the first at 1 year of age and the second at 3 years, 4 months. If you or your children missed these vaccines, it’s not too late. We can vaccinate any child, any age and any adult against MMR if you do not thing you have had a full course of the vaccines. Please call us on 0207 700 6464 to book directly with the nurse.
For more information on the MMR vaccination visit: www.nhs.uk/mmr