NHS warns parents of highly-contagious measles outbreak

Health authorities are warning parents about a measles outbreak as five different areas of the country have been affected.

The highly-contagious viral disease often affects children and can be identified by the measles rash.

It’s been on decline in the past few years thanks to nationwide vaccination, but the NHS is now warning parents of an outbreak that has so far affected five different cities in the country.

Confirming the news on Twitter, a spokesperson for NHS tweeted: ‘There have been confirmed cases of measles in Leeds, Liverpool, Surrey, Manchester and Birmingham.’

To tackle the outbreak, parents are being urged to look out for the symptoms of the disease, which include cold-like symptoms – such as a runny nose, sneezing, and a cough – as well as red and sore eyes; high temperature; and small greyish-white spots on the inside of the cheeks.

Experts also urging parents to vaccinate their children, as it’s ‘highly effective and safe’ way to prevent them from getting the condition.

Dr Will Welfare, consultant in Health Protection with Public Health England, said: ‘Measles is a very infectious virus and can spread rapidly among communities, such as schools, if people have not been fully immunised.

‘While most people who catch measles will recover completely within a couple of weeks, it’s important to remember measles can be a very serious illness that can leave permanent disability, and occasionally even kill.

Parents are being urged to vaccinate their children

‘I would appeal to any parents who have not yet had their children vaccinated to get them protected as soon as possible through their GP.’

The condition, while unpleasant, usually passes after 7 days. However, it can also lead to potentially life-threatening complications in more serious cases, like infections of the lungs (pneumonia) and brain (encephalitis).

According to Public Health England’s Head of Immunisation, Dr Mary Ramsay, the outbreak could be connected to outbreaks in Europe.

‘The measles outbreaks we are currently seeing in England are linked to ongoing large outbreaks in Europe’, she said.