There has been an increase in measles cases in London, and Wandsworth residents are urged to make sure that they and their children are immunised for their own protection and to prevent the disease spreading across the borough.
Measles is potentially a very serious illness that can cause complication and can, on rare occasions, be fatal. It is highly infectious and is spread through direct contact with an infected person or through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Houda Al-Sharifi, Wandsworth’s director of public health, has said "Parents must ensure their children are fully vaccinated. Measles isn’t a harmless childhood disease and you can never tell who will go on to develop more serious complications of pneumonia and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)"
Symptoms to look out for are:
- cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing, and a cough;
- sore, red eyes that may be sensitive to light; and
- high temperature (fever), which may reach around 40 degrees C (104F).
A few days later, a red-brown blotchy rash will appear. This usually starts on the head or upper neck, before spreading outwards to the rest of the body. Symptoms usually resolve in about seven to ten days.
If you are experiencing any of these you should seek medical attention, but phone ahead so arrangements can be put in place to prevent others being infected.