Public Health England (PHE) is joining forces with the local community and GPs’ to ask the residents of Bristol for their help to stop the spread of measles in the city.
Residents of Bristol are being asked to:
- Check if you are protected – have you had two doses of MMR vaccine?
- Check if your children are protected – have they had two doses of MMR vaccine?
- If the answer is no, contact your GP now for a catch up vaccination
- Know the signs and symptoms of Measles - do you/ your child have cold-like symptoms, sore red eyes, a high temperature or a red-brown blotchy rash?
- If you have symptoms, DO NOT: go to school, nursery, and work. Make sure you inform the school / nursery that your child may have measles
- If you suspect measles, call your GP immediately to be assessed and if it is measles stay at home until 5 days after rash has appeared.
- Call ahead before attending your GP, A&E or any other health care setting so that they make arrangements to prevent you spreading the infection to others when you are seen.
Thara Raj, Consultant in Health Protection for Public Health England South West, said:
“We are seeing a rise of Measles cases in Bristol with 52 confirmed cases and 24 probable cases in Bristol so far this year.
“This rise means that Measles is now widespread in the Bristol community and you and your family are at risk of the infection unless you have had two doses of MMR vaccine.
“Take action now to protect yourself and your family. Check your vaccination history and if you have not had two doses, call your GP now to arrange to have a MMR vaccination.
“Measles is not just a mild childhood disease, it can be serious and life threatening and we have seen 14 people hospitalised in the South West as a result of Measles.
“Be alert to the symptoms of measles, which can include cold-like symptoms, sore red eyes, a high temperature or a red-brown blotchy rash.
“If you recognise these symptoms, to protect the rest of the community (including, pregnant women and young children) please avoid work, nursery and healthcare waiting areas and stay at home until 5 days after the rash has appeared
“We have seen recent consequences of people with suspected measles who have continued their day to day activities resulting in many vulnerable people being exposed and some even requiring urgent medical interventions.
“It is so important to remain at home if you have suspected measles to prevent other people from getting ill. If you suspect measles, phone your GP surgery for advice and so arrangements can be made to protect other people if you need to attend the surgery.
“You should also contact your GP if you’ve been in close contact with someone who has measles and you’ve not been fully vaccinated (had two doses of the MMR vaccine) or haven’t had the infection before – this is particularly important for those who are immunosuppressed, pregnant or infants
Dr Lee Salkeld, a Bristol GP said: “Across the city, GPs are working hard to get the message to local patients about the rise in cases in Bristol and the importance of MMR vaccination.
“Your GP practice will be glad to offer you a catch up vaccination and we are keen to help protect you and your family.
“Even if you are attending the GP surgery for something else, please ask about MMR vaccination.”