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Measles in the United Kingdom (England)

09 Aug 2016

On the 5 August 2015 Public Health England (PHE) issued a News Release urging young people to ensure they are vaccinated against measles, this follows a rise in new measles cases being reported across England.

Since June 2016, a significant number of measles cases have been linked to music festivals and other large public events. There has been an increase in measles cases this year with 234 confirmed cases between January and June 2016, compared with 54 for the same period in 2015. There have been 38 suspected measles cases reported in people that attended events in June and July 2016.

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness; it may be more severe in teenagers and adults, and can sometimes lead to serious complications. Events where people mix closely with each other provide the ideal place for the measles to spread. People are urged to be aware of the symptoms of measles, such as a high fever and rash, and to avoid attending public events if they are unwell.

Advice for Travellers

Young people who missed their MMR vaccines as children are vulnerable, especially if gathered in large numbers at an event. It should be confirmed that children and young people have received their recommended doses of MMR at 12-13 months of age and again pre-school around 3 years 6 months. Unimmunised adults who have not had the disease themselves may consider vaccination if thought to be at risk. Two doses of MMR vaccine are required to give adequate protection.