Measles Outbreak Reported Near London
Public Health England (PHE) and the local council announced a suspected measles outbreak in Southend-on-Sea, in Essex, England, involving 8 people who attend local day services for people with learning disabilities.
This facility has been closed for the remainder of this week, said PHE as of October 2, 2019.
Furthermore, approximately 200 additional individuals may be involved.
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council (SSBC) is in direct liaison with specialist health protection clinicians at PHE who are managing the suspected outbreak.
Southend-on-Sea in Essex is located about 45 miles east of London, where various measles outbreaks have been reported during 2019, such as:
As an immediate priority, PHE and SSBC are identifying and contacting those people who may have been directly exposed and are offering those people measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccinations if they are not already immunized.
PHE’s national advice is to ensure that you and your family are up-to-date with all vaccinations included in the NHS national immunization schedule. Most adults born before 1970 are likely to be immune because they have probably been exposed to measles already.
This is the most effective method we all have for keeping ourselves safe and free from these potentially serious infections and diseases. If you are unsure of your vaccination status, your GP practice should be able to advise you of which vaccinations you may still need, says PHE.
The initial symptoms of measles develop around 10 days after infection, and can include:
- cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing, and a cough
- sore, red eyes that may be sensitive to light
- a high temperature (fever), which may reach around 40C (104F)
- small greyish-white spots on the inside of the cheeks
PHE advises people with measles symptoms to:
- stay away from school, nursery or work until four days have elapsed after the onset of a rash
- telephone your GP or NHS walk-in center 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
‘It is important to stress that this is a suspected measles outbreak at this stage, and further updates will be issued as appropriate,’ said PHE.
Useful links and advice for public reference:
Travel Vaccine information is published by Vax-Before-Travel