Measles outbreak in Greater Manchester

Reporter: Jess Reeves
Date published: 07 March 2019

People in Greater Manchester are being encouraged to check that they have had two doses of MMR vaccine, after confirmation of a measles outbreak in the area. 

PHE (Public Health England) are working with local partners to make sure people are aware of the signs and symptoms, as 32 cases of measles have now been confirmed across Greater Manchester.

Measles is a highly infectious virus and complications are more likely to develop in certian groups of people including, babies younger than 1 years old.

People are being advised to check themselves and their children have had the correct dose of the vaccine and to get in contact with their GP (General Practitioner) if they are unsure.

Dr Kristina Poole, Consultant in Health Protection at PHE North West, said, "Over the last three months, we have seen a large increase in confirmed cases of measles across Greater Manchester. This is of concern as measles is a very infectious virus and the majority of cases are in unvaccinated children.

Measles can spread rapidly among communities if people have not been fully immunised. Whilst most people who catch measles will recover completely within a couple of weeks, it's important to remember measles can be a very serious illness that can leave permanent disability and occasionally even kill.

MMR not only protects them, but also limits the chances of the virus spreading more widely, for example to children who are to young to have the vaccine and to adults who may be more vulnerable to the disease. MMR is a highly effective and safe vaccine."

Symptoms of measles can include, high fever, sore, watery eyes, coughing, aching, a blotchy red or brown rash and feeling generally unwell.

PHE advise people with these symptoms to stay away from school or work until five days have elapsed after the onset of a rash and to get in touch with your GP as soon as possible.