Measles outbreak in Greater Manchester

We are encouraging people in Stockport to check that they and their children have had two doses of MMR vaccine following confirmation that measles is circulating in the area.

The call comes as there have been three cases of measles now confirmed within the borough.

Stockport Health Partners are working with Public Health England to make sure people are aware of the signs and symptoms of measles and encourage anyone who has not been fully vaccinated to take up the offer of the MMR vaccination.

Anyone uncertain about whether they or their children have had two doses of the vaccine can check with their GP.

Dr David Baxter, Public Health Consultant said: “Measles can spread rapidly among communities if people have not been fully immunised. While 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 too young to have the vaccine and to adults who may be more vulnerable to the disease. MMR is a highly effective and safe vaccine.”

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness, so anyone with symptoms is also being advised to stay at home and phone their GP or NHS 111 for advice, rather than visiting the surgery or A&E, to prevent the illness spreading further. It is possible for anyone at any age to get measles and the illness can be more severe in teenagers and adults than in young children.

Measles symptoms to be aware of include:

• high fever
• sore, red, watery eyes
• coughing
• aching and feeling generally unwell
• a blotchy red brown rash, which usually appears after the initial symptoms

PHE advises people with symptoms of measles to:

• Stay away from school, nursery or work until five days have elapsed after the onset of a rash.
• Telephone your GP or NHS walk-in centre before attending so that arrangements can be made for you to be treated in a separate area to prevent spread to other vulnerable patients.
• Avoid contact with people generally, but particularly babies, pregnant women and anyone who is known to have poor immunity to infection.

Listen to PHE Health Protection Consultant Kristina Poole’s advice on how to protect yourself and your family.