Community urged to be extra vigilant for Measles
Staff at St Mary’s Health Centre have asked the community to be extra vigilant for cases of Measles, which have recently increased in the South West.
Lead Practice Nurse Fran Clark urged all parents to ensure their children have had both MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccinations, which is the most effective way to prevent Measles occurring.
She said: “It’s easy to be complacent because most of us have never seen a case of Measles due to effective vaccination programmes. For those who may be vulnerable, however, Measles isn't only deeply unpleasant, it can be fatal - especially for young children."
One in 15 victims of Measles go on to develop serious complications such as Pneumonia, Meningitis or Encephalitis. As it is easily spread through the air in the same way as a cough or cold, the best way to protect yourself or your child is through immunisation.
Children are usually given the first vaccine at 12 months and the second at three years so Fran asks all parents to double check their child is suitably protected. This information can be found in their child’s “Red Book”. If this is not available, parents are asked to please call the Health Centre to confirm that their child has had both doses.
Young adults are also able to catch up with any missed vaccinations and all healthcare workers or travellers (particularly to Europe) of any age are advised to ensure they are up to date.
Measles symptoms typically appear much like a cold but with a high temperature, watery red eyes and sensitivity to light. A rash to the body develops a few days later. Measles is dangerous to pregnant women and can cause miscarriage or still-birth.
If you have had contact with Measles or show symptoms of the disease, please stay at home and call the Health Centre for advice immediately.
Find out more about the symptoms of Measles at the NHS website at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/measles/symptoms/ .