Protecting your child against measles
You may be aware that there has been an increase in the number of measles cases in England with some local outbreaks. This letter is to advise you how to protect your child and others. We are working with your GP surgery and they have sent you this letter.
Measles can cause very serious illness
Measles usually causes a runny nose, red eyes, cough, high temperature and rash. It can also cause complications including ear infections, diarrhoea, pneumonia and convulsions. It is more likely to be serious in pregnant women, people whose immunity is not working properly and babies under a year of age. Very serious complications, such as inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) are rare, but can be fatal.
Measles spreads very easily
Measles is one of the most infectious diseases known. You can catch measles if you spend 15 minutes with someone who has the disease. The measles virus is spread through the air and in tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth of an infected person.
MMR vaccine provides safe and effective protection against measles, mumps and rubella
MMR vaccine has been shown across the world to be a safe and effective way of preventing measles. It can protect your child and others against measles infection and its serious consequences.
What you can do now
We recommend that you organise for your child to have the second MMR vaccine now. We have asked your GP to review their records and post this letter to parents whose children have not yet received their second MMR vaccination. Children growing up in the UK usually have the first MMR when they have just turned a year old, and a second MMR aged three years four months. Two doses of MMR are needed to get the best protection from measles. There is no upper age limit for MMR.
To make an appointment for your child to have the vaccine or to answer any queries please contact your doctor or practice nurse at Gorleston Medical Centre/Hopton Surgery. If your child has already had the second dose it would be helpful if you could let your GP practice know so they can update the records.
There is more information on measles on the NHS Choices website.
We do hope you will take this opportunity to ensure your child is fully protected.
Dr Shylaja Thomas
Consultant Lead for Screening and Immunisation
NHS England East Anglia / Public Health England Anglia and Essex Centre