A significant number of cases, linked to music festivals and other large public events, have been reported since June. This follows an increase in measles over the year with 234 cases confirmed between January and June, compared with 54 for the same period last year. There have been 36 suspected measles cases reported in people who attended events in June and July.
Teenagers and young people who are unsure if they have been fully vaccinated should check with their GP and make an appointment to ensure they receive the 2 doses of MMR vaccine required.
Young people planning to attend other festivals over the summer are in particular urged to follow this advice. Measles is extremely infectious and events where people are mixing closely with each other provide the ideal place for the infection to spread. Measles can be more severe in teenagers and adults, with some of the recent cases needing hospital treatment. People are urged to be aware of the symptoms of measles, such as a high fever and rash, and not to attend festivals if they are unwell.
Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at PHE, said, “Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can be very unpleasant and sometimes lead to serious complications. So, if you think you might have measles, please don’t go to any of these big events.
“Measles isn’t common these days because most of us are vaccinated, but young people who missed their MMR jab as children are vulnerable, especially if gathered in large numbers at an event. If you think you’ve got it, call your GP or NHS 111. Please don’t turn up at the surgery or at A&E as you could infect other patients.”