Following a recent outbreak of measles in Wirral, Public Health England (PHE) is advising the public to ensure they have had 2 doses of MMR vaccine to protect against the disease.
In Wirral there have been five confirmed cases and six probable cases in recent weeks. All cases to date have been in children and young adults who have not been vaccinated. In light of this fact Cllr Chris Jones, cabinet member for adult care and health, is urging parents to make sure their children are up to date with their vaccines and get them vaccinated if they’re not.
Cllr Jones said, “Getting yourself and your children vaccinated with the MMR vaccine is a safe & effective way to protect against measles. It also protects against mumps and rubella, two other highly infectious conditions.”
Parents are advised to check their child's Red Book to make sure they're up-to-date with their vaccinations, or check with the GP surgery if they’re unsure.
Cllr Jones continued, “The vaccine is quick, free and available from your GP. It only takes a few minutes to check but it could be potentially life-saving, for your own family and those around you. We’re urging people to be safe, be smart and get vaccinated.”
If you suspect you or a family member has measles, PHE advises you to:
- Stay away from school, nursery or work until five days have elapsed after the onset of a rash.
- Phone your GP or NHS 111 for advice.
- Avoid contact with people generally, but particularly babies, pregnant women and anyone who is known to have poor immunity to infection.
What is measles?
According to PHE, measles is an infectious viral disease. Starting with cold-like symptoms that develop about 10 days after becoming infected, measles is more commonly associated with a rash which follows a few days later. For most people, the illness lasts around 7 to 10 days in total but for some, the complications which follow the illness can be long-lasting.
More serious complications may include pneumonia, ear infections, bronchitis (either viral bronchitis or secondary bacterial bronchitis), and brain inflammation. For some pregnant women, a further complication of contracting measles can include miscarriage.