Public Health England (PHE) have recently reported that there are more than 120 confirmed cases of measles across five areas of England (PHE, 2018).
Measles is a very infectious, serious illness that, in rare cases, can be fatal. Symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing and cough, sore red eyes, a high temperature and after a few days, a red-brown blotchy rash (BBC, 2018).
PHE says the cases in West Yorkshire, Cheshire and Liverpool, West Midlands, Surrey and Greater Manchester are linked to ongoing large outbreaks in Europe. The overall risk in the UK is still low, but outbreaks can happen any time. Within their report they broke down the number of cases in each place (PHE, 2018).
As of 9th January, there have been 34 confirmed cases in West Yorkshire, 29 confirmed cases in Cheshire and Liverpool, 32 confirmed cases in the West Midlands, 20 confirmed cases in Surrey and 7 confirmed cases in Greater Manchester (PHE, 2018).
Many children and adults have not had the MMR vaccination for measles, mumps and rubella which means they are not protected and this may be why large outbreaks occur. PHE are urging all children and adults to have the vaccination if they are not already fully vaccinated with both doses, especially before travelling to other countries with substantial risk of MMR outbreaks (PHE, 2018).
BBC News. (2018). Measles outbreak in five English regions. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42704749. Last accessed 17th Jan 2018.
Public Health England. (2018). Measles outbreaks confirmed in 5 areas across UK. Available: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/measles-outbreaks-confirmed-in-leeds-liverpool-and-birmingham. Last accessed 17th Jan 2018.