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Stay alert to the risk of measles

yellow ceiling with rainbow coloured glass with blue sky above sheffield children's hospital building
17 November 2023

Clinicians at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust are warning parents and carers to be vigilant for symptoms of measles and to make sure their children are vaccinated against the infection.

Health services across the country are starting to see an increase in the number of cases of measles.

The advice to parents is to watch out for the symptoms of measles in their children and act if they suspect they have the infection. Measles usually starts with cold-like symptoms, followed by a rash which usually starts on the face or behind the ears a few days later. Some people may also get small spots in their mouth.

The first symptoms are:

·        high fever

·        sore, red, watery eyes

·        cough

·        aching and feeling generally unwell

·        a blotchy red/brown rash on white skin. It may be harder to see or more subtle on brown and black skin.

Noreen West, Deputy Medical Director at Sheffield Children’s, said: “Measles is extremely infectious and can be serious for some people, although if your child has had both MMR jabs the likelihood they will catch it is very low. It can spread quickly and easily so, if you think anyone in your family has the symptoms of measles, please stay at home and phone your GP or NHS 111 for advice.

“Please stay away from GP surgeries and hospital emergency departments as you could spread the illness to vulnerable people.

“If it is absolutely necessary to bring your child into your GP surgery, a walk-in centre or a hospital emergency department do not use public transport to get there as you will risk infecting others. Ask NHS  111 or 999 for help with transport if you need to be seen by a doctor. As soon as you arrive please inform reception that you are infectious so that you can be kept away from other people to minimise the chances of the infection spreading.

“The best way to prevent your children getting measles is to make sure they have their two MMR vaccines on time – the first at 1 year of age and the second at 3 years, 4 months. If you or your children missed these vaccines, it’s not too late. Ask for the free vaccine from your GP if you or your children aren’t up to date.”

For more information about measles visit the Healthier Together website or the website

For more information on the MMR vaccination visit: 

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