Teenagers and young adults are being urged to check they've had their MMR vaccine before travelling this summer.

There have been a number of outbreaks of measles in parts of Europe, and cases also continue to rise across England among unvaccinated people in this age group, including in the West Midlands.

The vaccine is available free to anyone who has not received both doses as a child, and protects against measles, mumps and rubella - all of which can be very serious diseases and are highly infectious.

Dr Bharat Sibal, Public Health England's lead Health Protection consultant, said: "Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can sometimes lead to extremely serious complications.

"With outbreaks across England and Europe, it is vital that anyone who hasn't had two doses of the MMR vaccine contacts their GP to get up to date, especially before going on holiday. If you are unsure of your vaccination status call your GP; MMR is a perfectly safe vaccination and there is no problem if you end up having a third dose."

Councillor Hazel Malcolm, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "There have been over 100 cases of measles across the West Midlands since November, so it's important people ensure they have their vaccinations and to be vigilant for the symptoms of measles.

"These include having a high fever; sore, red, watery eyes; coughing, aching and feeling generally unwell and a blotchy red brown rash, which usually appears after the initial symptoms."

Because measles is so infectious, anyone with symptoms is also being advised to stay at home and phone their GP or NHS 111 for advice in the first instance to prevent the illness spreading further.

For more information about measles, please visit Type=links;Linkid=7397;Title=NHS Choices;Target=_blank;.

  • released: Thursday 21 June, 2018