Measles is on the rise – how to protect your family

05 Feb 2024
NHS South East London

With cases of measles rising across the country, the NHS is encouraging people to check that they and their children have had two doses of the MMR vaccine.

The free MMR vaccine is a safe and effective way of protecting against measles, as well as mumps and rubella.

In south east London, children are usually offered their first MMR vaccine at 1 year old and the second at 18 months which provides lifelong protection.

Over the next few weeks, the NHS will be contacting families with unvaccinated and under vaccinated children and young people aged 6 to 25, by text, email or letter advising them to book an appointment.

Parents and guardians are asked to check their child’s Red Book to see if they’re up to date on their MMR vaccinations or alternatively check with their GP surgery. It’s never too late to catch up on missed doses.

Anyone with symptoms of measles is advised to stay at home and phone their GP or NHS 111 for advice.

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.
Measles rash on the back of a young baby with dark skin.
Measles on dark skin.
Measles rash on the chest of a 10-year old boy with light skin.
Measles on light skin.

For more information about measles, see the website.