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Measles Outbreak – Information For Visitors

A number of confirmed cases of measles across Merseyside continues to grow. Please be mindful that our patients can be particularly susceptible to infections, therefore we ask family and friends not to visit the hospital if they are unwell with any infection.

The majority of current measles cases are children under the age of five who were not vaccinated at the optimum age of 13 months and babies and toddlers who are too young to be vaccinated. A small number of adults have also been affected.

The majority of the cases are in Liverpool and neighbouring areas of South Sefton (Aintree and Waterloo), but there also confirmed cases in Knowsley, St Helens and Widnes.

The NHS is working proactively to minimise the spread of measles and it’s really important that people are aware of the symptoms and what to do.

It is important for parents to contact their GP and arrange for any unvaccinated children to be protected by the MMR vaccine as soon as possible.

If people do suspect that they or their children have measles then they should in the first instance telephone their GP for advice, before going to A&E, Walk in Centres or GP surgeries.

Information on measles is available on the following websites:
http://immunisation.dh.gov.uk/
http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/InfectiousDiseases/InfectionsAZ/Measles/
http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk    (NHS Direct Website)

Advice is also available from NHS Direct on 0845-4647.

Useful Information About Measles And What To Do

What is Measles?
Measles is an infectious viral illness that is spread when infected people cough or sneeze. The most common symptoms are fever, cough, sore eyes and a rash that develops 3-4 days after the onset of illness, starting with the face and head and spreading down the body.

Who can get Measles?
Anyone can get measles if they haven't been vaccinated or had it before, although it's most common in children aged between one and four years old.

How is Measles spread?
The measles virus is contained in the millions of tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

The virus spreads very easily, and is caused by breathing in these droplets or by touching a surface that has been contaminated with the droplets and then placing your hands near your nose or mouth.

What are the symptoms?
The initial symptoms of measles include:

  • cold-like symptoms
  • red eyes and sensitivity to light 
  • fever 
  • greyish white spots in the mouth and throat

After a few days a red-brown spotty rash will appear. It usually starts behind the ears, then spreads around the head and neck before spreading to the legs and the rest of the body.

Click here to view the NHS childhood conditions slideshow to see what the measles rash looks like.

What should you do if you think you or your children have Measles?
Its really important that we do all we can to avoid the risk of spreading measles….. so if you think that you or your children have symptoms of measles you should:

  • Telephone your GP for advice before attending GP surgeries, NHS walk-in centres or hospital A & E units. If it is necessary for a child or adult with measles to attend an NHS facility, the GP can telephone the facility in advance to make arrangements for minimising the measles patient’s contact with other vulnerable patients.
  • Stay away from school, nursery or work until at least four days have elapsed since the rash developed. 
  • Avoid contact with others, particularly pregnant women and infants as they are more vulnerable to infection and measles is highly infectious.

 

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