Measles Outbreak

PLEASE DO NOT BE ALARMED, THERE ARE NO CASES OF MEASLES AT DENE MAGNA, but we would like to inform you that there have been a number of confirmed cases of measles in the Gloucestershire area.

Measles is a disease which spreads very easily. People with measles can get a cough, runny nose, rash and fever. Measles can be serious, particularly for people whose immune system is not working normally. The best way to prevent measles is by getting the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccination.

People with measles are infectious for four days before the rash first appears until four days after. Cases are no longer infectious on day five after the rash appears. The red-brown blotchy rash usually starts on the head or upper neck, before spreading outwards to the rest of the body.

Before the rash comes out, the initial symptoms of measles develop between seven and eighteen days after exposure to an infected person, but it can take longer. These include:

• Cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing, and a cough 
• Sore, red eyes that may be sensitive to light 
• High temperature (fever), which may reach around 40C 
• Koplik spots (small red spots with bluish-white centres) inside the mouth 
• A general feeling of being unwell.

Some groups of people are especially vulnerable to measles and can have a severe form of the disease:

• Immunocompromised people (people’s whose immune systems are not working properly for example people receiving chemotherapy, have received a transplant, have a blood cancer, or with HIV) 
• pregnant women 
• unimmunised children aged under 12 months 
• healthcare workers (this is because health care workers are not themselves at risk but have the potential to be in contact with vulnerable people). 

Anyone who is vulnerable as outlined above, and comes into contact with a suspected case, should contact their doctor or Public Health England on 0300 303 8162 option 1 option 2 as they may benefit from urgent protective treatment.

We understand that some people may have previously been reluctant to have their children immunised with MMR. However, in light of this current situation and the increased risk to unvaccinated children and to the vulnerable groups of people above, we would urge them to reconsider this.

For further information about measles, please visit http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/measles/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Information about the MMR vaccine can be found by visiting http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pages/mmr-vaccine.aspx

If you would like to discuss this further, please contact the Screening and Immunisation Team via england.bnsssg.imms@nhs.net and they will be happy to speak to you.