15th May 2023
UK Health and Safety Agency (UKHSA) is investigating increased cases of measles in England since January 2023. Cases so far identified include children and adults; many with recent travel history.
The uptake of the MMR vaccine among children has also seen a steady decline over the last few years which means more of the population are potentially exposed to infection.

As we enter the warmer months, we can expect increased mixing in a variety of settings including at festivals, through foreign travel and social events. The risk to the UK population remains low, but the UKHSA is asking parents/carers to be alert to signs and symptoms and ensure that they or their children have received two doses of the MMR vaccination.

Measles is highly contagious and can lead to complications such as ear infections, pneumonia, and inflammation of the brain which require hospitalisation and on rare occasions can lead to long term disability or death.

Spending 15 minutes or more in direct contact with someone infected with measles is enough to catch the infection. People whose immunity is compromised, pregnant women and unvaccinated children are at increased risk of severe disease.

Measles symptoms to be aware of include:
·high fever
·sore, red, watery eyes
·aching and feeling generally unwell
·a blotchy red brown rash, which usually appears after the initial symptoms.

Anyone with symptoms that could be measles is advised to stay at home and phone their GP or NHS 111 for advice, rather than visiting the surgery or A&E.

The UKHSA have asked schools to remind parent/carers that the free MMR vaccine is a safe and effective way of protecting against measles, as well as mumps and rubella.