Measles is back and rates are rising fast, don’t let it ruin your summer. 

If you become infected with measles, it can be a lot more dangerous than people realise. 1 in 5 children who get measles, end up in hospital. It can cause pneumonia, inflammation of the brain and even death. It’s not ‘just a cold’. It can affect you at any age, and is particularly dangerous for pregnant women and people with reduced immunity. 

It is circulating all over Europe, and there are rising outbreaks in London and the South East. Know the symptoms and get vaccinated before you go on holiday or attend large events and gatherings this summer. It only takes 15 minutes of contact with an infected person to catch measles.  

Know the symptoms – don’t let measles ruin your summer

 The symptoms to look out for are: 

  • high temperature 
  • sore, red, watery eyes 
  • coughing 
  • sneezing 
  • a runny or blocked nose  
  • a rash which usually appears after the initial symptom

The rash might be raised, and join to form patches. Is not normally itchy. It looks brown or red on white skin, but may be harder to see on brown or black skin. Some people get small white spots in their mouth at the same time as the rash.  

Visit NHS Measles for more information.  

If you suspect that you or your child has measles the advice is to stay at home and phone the GP or NHS 111 for advice. Don’t visit the surgery or hospital without calling ahead as you might pass the infection on to others. 

Protect yourself and others from measles 

The MMR vaccine is a very safe and effective vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella. It is the best way to protect against measles.  

You need two doses of the vaccine to be fully protected. They are usually given at one year and three years old. Lots of children missed one or both of their MMR vaccinations during the Covid pandemic. Some older children and adults also missed out in the past because of false speculation about the vaccine’s safety. 

It’s never too late to catch up and you’re never too old to get vaccinated!   

Check your child’s ‘red book’ or contact your GP to see if you or your child need to book a catch-up jab.