One of Warwickshire’s leading health says there is no outbreak of measles in the county - but is urging everyone to be immunised with the MMR vaccine to prevent a spread of the disease similar to that currently seen in Swansea.
While the number of cases is Warwickshire is currently low, the number of cases has been increasing nationally. In 2012, there were 2,016 confirmed cases of measles in England and Wales reported to the Health Protection Agency, which is the highest annual total since 1994.
Symptoms of measles include cold-like symptoms, red eyes and sensitivity to light, fever, greyish white spots in the mouth and throat, and a red-brown spotty rash that appear after a few days. It usually starts behind the ears, and then spreads around the head and neck before spreading to the legs and the rest of the body.
Talking about the outbreak in Wales, Helen King, deputy director of public health in Warwickshire said: “Whilst there is currently no outbreak here in Warwickshire, the recent issue in Wales shows that we cannot be complacent. Measles cannot be taken lightly because you can never tell who will go on to develop the more serious complications which can include pneumonia and inflammation of the brain. The only way to
prevent these complications is to have the MMR vaccination.
“Usually children are immunised at around 13 months old, but if you are under 18 and have still not been vaccinated against the disease, then now is the time to contact your GP to arrange to have a simple jab which could literally save your life and stop you infecting others.”
Further information about measles and the MMR vaccine can be found at www.hpa.org.uk or www.nhs.uk/conditions/Measles.