Measles: Don’t Get Caught Out
Cases of measles have risen rapidly in recent months in Europe, United Kingdom but most recently, Brazil. Measles is a highly contagious virus with potential for serious complications. It is a serious viral infection, spread by airborne droplets and is highly infectious. It is recommended that two doses of the measles vaccination should be given to individuals to prevent infection. Although many countries include the vaccination as part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule, international travellers should check that they are immune before departure.
Most UK citizens will have immunity in one of two ways:
Natural immunity can be assumed for those born before 1970, where individuals would have been exposed to the infection naturally.
Having received two doses of vaccination against measles. The vaccination was introduced in 1970 and is usually given in combination with rubella and mumps as the MMR vaccine.
Initial symptoms can include:
- Runny nose
- High Temperature
- Spots in the mouth
- Aches and pains
- Sore eyes and swollen eyelids
A rash appears after 2-4 days which can present as blotchy spots, often starting at the head and progressing down.
Advice for Adults
If you are in doubt about whether you have immunity to measles, a simple blood test can be taken to determine your immunity status. If you have no immunity to measles, you can be offered the MMR vaccination.
Advice for Children
Infants normally receive the MMR vaccination at 13 months old, as part of the national schedule. However, if you are travelling to a country where there is a significant risk of infection, the vaccination can be given to infants from 6 months.
If you think you may be suffering from measles, or are concerned about the risk of infection when travelling, please see your doctor straight away.
The Fleet Street Clinic stocks travel sickness medication, travel vaccines and medical travel kits. Our experienced travel clinic nurses can help advise with any queries or more information on Measles.