Measles is a very infectious virus and spreads very easily. People who catch measles usually recover completely within a couple of weeks, however, it can be a very serious illness that can lead to permanent disability and occasionally can cause death.
It’s important that people are alert to the symptoms of measles, which usually starts with cold-like symptoms accompanied by fever, a red-brown blotchy rash, and sore red eyes.
Initial symptoms of measles develop around 10 days after a person is infected but can take between 7 to 21 days. If you experience these symptoms please seek medical attention but be sure to phone ahead before you visit your GP surgery or other healthcare setting, so arrangements can be made to prevent others from being infected.
The best way to protect yourself and those around you is to have the MMR vaccination. Anyone who hasn’t already had two doses should contact their GP surgery for an appointment to get vaccinated.
Two doses are needed for full protection against measles. You can have the vaccination at any age and measles immunity usually lasts a lifetime so you will only need one course of vaccinations. The MMR vaccine is free of charge and is a highly effective and safe vaccine. You can also request a porcine-free vaccine.
If you are unsure whether you or your family have been vaccinated, please check your online GP record in the first instance, otherwise contact your GP practice.
More information about measles is available on the NHS website.