A warning has been placed by Public Health England amidst large outbreaks of measles in and around Europe.
With more than 440 confirmed cases and 1,000 being investigated in the UK, health officials are urging parents to vaccinate their children especially if planning on travelling to european countries.
Adults who missed out on an MMR vaccine are also at risk.
With summer well underway, the concerns for young adults and teenagers who will be mixing in close proximity at music festivals and flights abroad heighten the concern of many doctors.
Measles is highly infectious and can cause life threatening complications.
Symptoms to look out for are; signs of cold, fever, blocked nose and a cough and the characteristic measles rash. These symptoms usually occur 10 days after infection.
More serious, are the potential complications that can be left by measles such as hepatitis, meningitis, and pneumonia.
As well as the incredibly important MMR vaccine there are ways to avoid the spread of Measles.
As the symptoms do not show until 10 days after contraction of the virus it can be very tricky to avoid spreading this, but you can help to stop the spread if you are a parent or teacher for example –
People with measles can spread the disease from 4 days before the rash starts until about 4 days after that, as the infection is most contagious at this stage. Avoid working or taking your child to school. It may seem like a cold but it’s not worth taking the risk.
Basic hygiene routines will help contain the spread. Covering your nose and mouth while sneezing, washing toys or play areas with anti-bacterial wash, hand washing and alcohol hand rubs help keep the virus at bay.
Reporting to the correct people if you believe you or someone you know has measles. Information is key, if you believe a child or a work colleague has the virus then speak with them or report to someone who can help prevent the spread.
Avoid people who are more vulnerable such as young children and pregnant women.
Just get checked!
You or your child can avoid catching measles by having the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
If you are unsure if you or your child has had the vaccination you can check with your GP.
While we are in the midst of the outbreak it is important to know that you do not have to wait for your child to reach school age for the second jab. The second dose can be given as quickly as 3 months after the first in such circumstances.
For more information about the measles vaccination or to request a appointment with our specialist team please get in touch.