Five cases of measles confirmed in Sussex

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Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed five cases of measles in Sussex – and has written to local schools and nurseries in a bid to prevent further cases.

PHE said the five cases were in Brighton and Hove, and it is working with the NHS and the local authority in the city to advise how people can help protect themselves and their families.

Dr Peter English, consultant in communicable disease control for Public Health England South East, said: “Measles is not a harmless childhood illness as many think – it is extremely infectious, can strike anyone and sadly in some instances can have very serious long term and life changing consequences.

“The best form of protection against measles is the MMR vaccination. It is important that anyone who hasn’t already had two doses of the MMR vaccine contacts their GP surgery for an appointment to get vaccinated.

“Also remain alert to the symptoms of measles, which can include cold-like symptoms, sore red eyes, a high temperature and a red-brown blotchy rash. If you experience these symptoms seek medical attention but be sure to phone ahead before you visit your GP surgery or other healthcare setting, so arrangements can be made to prevent others from being infected.”

Measles signs and symptoms

The initial symptoms of measles develop around 10 days after a person is infected.

These can include:

- cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing, and a cough

- sore, red eyes that may be sensitive to light

- a high temperature (fever), which may reach around 40C (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 10 days.

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For further information about measles, visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/measles/