Help stop the spread of measles

30 Jun 2017

Northumberland County Council is reminding parents of the importance of the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine, as a very effective way to prevent infection and stop measles from spreading.
 
Measles is caused by a virus which can spread quickly through coughing and sneezing, person-to-person contact, or by touching a contaminated surface.  The illness is highly infectious and can cause a rash and high fever.  It can also cause serious health complications such as lung and brain infections, especially in babies under a year, teenagers and adults. 
 
There are currently large outbreaks of measles across some areas of Europe and with the summer holidays approaching and increasing travel there is a risk of measles being brought back to the UK by people who have not been completely vaccinated.  In the last year, there have also been measles cases linked to music festivals and other large public events, mainly in teenagers and young adults.  
 
Elizabeth Morgan, Interim Public Health Director, said: “Fortunately, the MMR vaccine is a very effective way to prevent infection and stop measles from spreading to people who can't have the vaccine.  Whatever your age, if you think you or your children may not have received two doses of the MMR vaccine, or you are unsure, speak to your GP - it's never too late to have the vaccine and measles can still be serious in adults. “
 
Northumberland County Councillor Veronica Jones, cabinet member for Adult Care and Public Health, said: “We would encourage all parents to have their children vaccinated against measles.  It is important that we raise awareness of health issues and the danger of measles, so parents can make an informed choice about the vaccine.”
 
Dr Alistair Blair, a GP in Morpeth and Clinical Chair at NHS Northumberland CCG, said: “Measles is highly infectious and children and adults who haven’t been vaccinated or had the infection before are at risk if measles is circulating. 
 
“There is no treatment for measles but it can be prevented by the MMR vaccine and two doses are required to ensure the best protection.
 
“If anyone has missed out on MMR in the past it’s always possible to catch-up as the vaccine can be given at any age. Just contact your local GP.”