Data published today by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) shows there has been a rise in measles cases.
Measles is a highly infectious disease that can lead to serious problems such as pneumonia, meningitis, and on rare occasions, long-term disability or death. Symptoms include a high fever, sore red watery eyes and a blotchy red-brown rash, and it is particularly easy to catch in environments when in close contact with others.
Dr Vanessa Saliba, Consultant Epidemiologist at UKHSA, said:
We are calling on all parents and guardians to make sure their children are up to date with their 2 MMR doses. It’s never too late to catch up, and you can get the MMR vaccine for free on the NHS whatever your age.
Vaccines are our best line of defence against diseases like measles, mumps and rubella and help stop outbreaks occurring in the community.
Measles spreads very easily and can lead to complications that require a stay in hospital and on rare occasions can cause lifelong disability or death, so it is very concerning to see cases starting to pick up this year.
Measles is a highly infectious viral illness, so anyone with symptoms is advised to stay at home and phone their GP or NHS 111 for advice before visiting the surgery or A&E. This will help to prevent the illness spreading further.
To see if your child is up to date with their MMR vaccines, check your child’s personal child health record (PCHR), known as the red book, or contact your GP practice. If anyone has missed one or both doses of the MMR vaccine, contact your GP practice to book an appointment. It is never too late to catch up.