Measles is a highly infectious viral illness, it can be severe and may lead to serious complications. Although most common in young children, anyone can get measles if they haven’t been vaccinated or if they haven’t had it before. Measles is spread through coughing and sneezing, close personal contact or direct contact with infected nasal or throat secretions. It only takes 15 minutes or more of direct contact with someone infected with measles to be classed as having a significant exposure.
Following a confirmed measles outbreak in the Birmingham area and current large measles outbreaks across Europe, it is vital that we raise awareness of this illness and encourage vaccination at every opportunity. For more information, please see:
Read about measles, a highly infectious viral illness that can be very unpleasant and sometimes lead to serious complications.
Early symptoms of measles include a high fever, runny nose, cough, red and watery eyes and Koplik spots (small red dots with bluish white centres) inside the mouth. After a few days, a rash appears, usually on the face and upper neck. The rash spreads, eventually reaching the hands and feet and lasts five to six days.
The Incubation period for measles is 7-14 days and infectious period is from the onset of symptoms (typically 4 days before the appearance of rash) to 4 days after the appearance of the rash.
Remember, measles is a vaccine preventable disease. In the UK children receive 2 doses of the combined measles mumps rubella (MMR) vaccine as part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule. If a parent is unsure of their child’s vaccine status, please signpost them to their GP. More information can be accessed on: