Public Health England (PHE) has issued advice for the public to ensure they have had the MMR vaccine after outbreaks of measles confirmed in five areas of England.
The reminder is in light of recent Public Health England reports on Measles outbreaks in the West Midlands and other cities in the UK. As of December 2017, there have been 13 confirmed cases of measles in Birmingham. All of the cases have been reported in children and adults who have not received 2 doses of the MMR vaccine.
Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can be very unpleasant and can sometimes lead to serious complications. Children and young people who have not received 2 doses of MMR vaccine are at risk. Unvaccinated people travelling to Romania and Italy, where there are currently large outbreaks of measles, are at particularly high risk.
Anyone planning to travel to Europe over the Christmas period should check NaTHNaC travel health advice.
PHE local health protection teams are working closely with the NHS and local authorities to raise awareness of the outbreaks in England and Europe with health professionals and local communities.
The MMR vaccine is available to all adults and children who are not up to date with their 2 doses. Anyone who is not sure if they are fully vaccinated should check with their GP practice.
Cllr Les Caborn, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Health, said: “Measles is a highly infectious illness, and can have very serious consequences. We are lucky in this country to have seen numbers of cases of measles drop due to our successful vaccination programme, but we are concerned to see this upturn in numbers of cases.
“It is really important for all children and young people to be fully vaccinated with 2 doses of MMR, and especially before travelling to countries where we have been seeing large outbreaks and individuals affected, such as Romania, Italy, Germany and Greece.”
Vaccination advice for people travelling around Europe this Christmas can be found here: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/factsheet/30/general-advice-for-travellers
Update reports on Measles from Public Health England can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/measles-outbreaks-confirmed-in-leeds-liverpool-and-birmingham
Further information on the MMR vaccine can be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/mmr-vaccine.aspx
Those who need medical advice are urged to book an urgent appointment with their local GP.
If you need urgent medical care, please phone NHS 111.