We are experiencing an increase in measles in South East London. Measles, characterised by a rash, is a highly contagious virus that can be contracted by direct contact with an infected person or by them coughing and sneezing and infecting the air. Other symptoms include a runny nose, red eyes, a cough, inflamed tonsils, small white spots inside the cheeks, and an increasing high temperature.
Debbie Flaxman, deputy director of infection prevention and control said: “The tell-tale sign of measles is a rash that starts behind the ears and spreads over the face and body. The rash consists of flat red or brown blotches which can flow into each other and it feels bumpy when you run your fingers over it.
“If you suspect that you or a member of your family has measles you should phone (not visit) your GP without delay. Because the virus is highly contagious, please avoid going to hospital unless told to do so by your GP since there are other patients – such as those with low immune systems and pregnant women – who could suffer complications if they came into contact with an infected person. If you do attend hospital, please ensure that you inform the reception staff in order that you can be managed appropriately.”
Measles can be caught at any age but is most commonly found in children aged 1-4 who have not been immunised. For further information on the condition and immunisation visit please visit the NHS Choices website .