Measles: We have forgotten how dangerous it is says expert
Dr Neil O’Brien, medical director of the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB), commented on the current situation.
“We know that vaccines have saved more lives than any other medical invention in history,” said Dr O’Brien.
“Ensuring your children are properly immunised is one of the most important things you can do.”
Dr O’Brien pointed out that there were “no cases of measles” within north east England from 2019 to 2022.
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“However, this has changed,” said Dr O’Brien. “And we now are seeing a small number of cases emerging.”
Dr O’Brien added: “Therefore it is vital that all children are kept up to date with their MMR doses and fully protected.”
Measles is a highly infectious disease, the doctor explained, adding it “can spread very quickly”.
Dr O’Brien told Chronicle Live: “One person with measles can infect nine out of 10 close contacts.”
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Measles can lead to “serious problems such as pneumonia, meningitis, and on rare occasions, long-term disability or even death”.
Dr O’Brien pleaded: “We’re asking all parents, carers and guardians to make sure their children are up to date with both MMR doses.
“It’s never too late to catch up, and you can get the MMR vaccine free whatever your age.”
The NHS says: “Measles usually starts with cold-like symptoms, followed by a rash a few days later.”
In the beginning stages, symptoms of measles can include:
- A high temperature
- A runny or blocked nose
- A cough
- Red, sore, watery eyes.
Then small, white spots might appear inside the cheeks and on the back of the lips.
A few days after the cold-like symptoms, a rash usually appears on the face, behind the ears, and spreads to the rest of the body.
Ask for an urgent GP appointment or get help from NHS 111 if you think you or your child has measles.
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