Measles outbreak

There’s a measles outbreak in the UK. With the number of measles cases rising, we wanted to share more information with you about measles, so you can stay as safe as possible.

Measles is one of the most infectious diseases that we know of. It can spread very easily and, in some cases, can cause serious long-term problems.

Some people think that measles only affects children, but that’s not true. Measles is more common in children, but can affect anyone of any age. It can also be really dangerous for pregnant women and their babies.

Measles starts with a high fever and flu-like symptoms, like a runny or blocked nose, sneezing, a cough and red, sore and watery eyes. After a few days, the measles rash will start on the face and behind the ears. It can spread to the rest of the body. The spots of the measles rash are sometimes raised and join together to form blotchy patches. They’re not usually itchy. The rash looks brown or red on white skin. It may be harder to see on brown and black skin.

Measles is spread by coughing, sneezing or touching surfaces that someone with measles has touched. Did you know that the measles virus can stay active in the air or on surfaces for up to 2 hours?

Most people who catch measles feel really poorly, but fight it off after 7-10 days. 1 in 4 people have to be admitted to hospital, and for some it can lead to serious problems. These problems include pneumonia, meningitis, brain swelling, seizures, blindness, deafness and learning disabilities. In pregnancy, it can cause a miscarriage, stillbirth, a premature birth or a baby who’s too small.

If you or your child may have measles, contact us for a telephone appointment. If you already have a face-to-face appointment booked, please reach out to us first before coming to the practice. This will make sure we keep other patients and staff safe from measles.

We all need to play our part in stopping the spread of measles to our towns and our communities. The best way to keep yourself, your loved ones and your neighbours safe is with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Two doses of the MMR vaccine gives you 99% protection against measles.

We know some people are worried about vaccines, and if that’s you we’re here to help. If you’re finding it hard to decide, reach out to us to talk it through.