Measles outbreak in Redhill reported by Public Health England

April 19, 2018
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Public Health England is warning of a measles outbreak in Redhill .

There have been 34 cases – 26 confirmed and eight deemed to be ‘probable’ cases – since January, mostly in Redhill but with some reported in other parts of Surrey and Sussex.

A further 23 people are being investigated as possible measles cases.

Public Health England South East has urged the public to ensure they are vaccinated and up-to-date with two doses of MMR vaccine.

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Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can be very unpleasant and lead to serious complications, especially in people with immune problems, pregnant women, and in babies younger than one year.

Pauline Potter, who works in the office at St Bede’s School in Redhill , said: “We haven’t had any cases here that I’m aware of but we would also notify staff and any vulnerable students that we have in school if there is anything.

“It’s a notifiable disease and students need to stay at home for at least four days from the onset of the rash.

“We would urge our students to seek advice on vaccination, however we aren’t concerned that it’s a threat [to our staff and pupils] at this stage.”

Public Health England has warned it is possible for people of any age to contract the illness and that it can lead to serious complications
(Image: Western Mail Archive/Peter Bolter)

A spokeswoman for St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Primary School , in Linkfield Lane, Redhill, added: “We haven’t had any outbreaks however we have just sent a letter out to parents with regard to the measles immunisation programme concerning this.

“We only do the flu vaccinations for the children so they need to go to a doctor themselves.”

Important

Dr Margot Nicholls, PHE South East Health Protection consultant, said: “It is really important that anyone who hasn’t already had two doses of the MMR vaccine contacts their GP surgery for an appointment to get vaccinated.

“If you’re unsure whether you or your children have had two MMRs, first check your child’s Red Book or contact your GP surgery. You do not need additional MMR vaccines if you and your children have all had two MMR vaccines.

“With ongoing outbreaks in other parts of Europe including Romania, Italy and Ukraine, we’re also warning that anyone travelling to these countries is at particularly high risk. If you’re planning to go to these countries, contact your GP to arrange to make sure that you are fully vaccinated before you travel.”

Because measles is so infectious, anyone with symptoms is also being advised not to go to their GP or a hospital without telephoning first. This allows arrangements to be made to reduce the chance of spreading the infection in hospital or GP waiting rooms.

What to do if you think you or your loved ones may have measles

  • Call 111 or your GP. Do not just go there immediately as you could infect others
  • Stay away from crowded or public areas for four days after the onset of the rash
  • Get vaccinated

The vaccine

The free MMR vaccine is a safe and effective way of protecting against measles, mumps and rubella.

MMR vaccines are free and can save your life
(Image: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

It is particularly important for parents to take up the offer of MMR vaccination for their children at one year of age and as a pre-school booster at three years, four months of age.

If children and young adults have missed these vaccinations in the past, they are recommended to ask their GP practice for the vaccine now, in light of the increase in recent cases.

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Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/measles-outbreak-redhill-reported-public-14551225


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