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We urge holidaymakers to keep vaccinations up to date

Published: 8 July 2019

As outbreaks of measles continue across Europe we are urging anyone planning a holiday abroad to check their measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccinations are up to date.

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can be very unpleasant and can lead to serious complications.

The number of cases confirmed in England has been rising since 2018 and 231 cases of measles were recorded in the country within the first three months of 2019.

Our Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Carol Hart said:

“Measles is incredibly easy to catch – and if left untreated can lead to hospitalisation or even kill.

“At the moment, there are a lot of cases of measles in many countries across Europe, including France, Poland and Germany.

“We’re urging anyone who has travel plans abroad to check your and your family’s vaccination status – if you’re in any doubt always ask your GP or check your child’s Red Book.

“Make sure everything’s up to date and remember – it’s never too late to get protected.”

In the UK the MMR vaccination is given to infants at around 12 months of age with a second dose given just before they start school.

Young people and adults aged 15 or over who missed out on the MMR vaccine when they were young have been particularly affected – as well as some under-vaccinated communities.

We are also encouraging anyone heading to festivals this summer to check they’ve had two doses of the MMR vaccination.

Festivals or any other events where lots of people mix together provide the perfect sort of environment where measles can spread rapidly.  

Although usually a mild illness in children, measles can be more severe in adults. The initial symptoms develop around 10 days after a person is infected and can include:

  • cold-like symptoms like a runny nose, sneezing and a cough
  • sore, red eyes that may be sensitive to light
  • a high temperature which may reach around 40oc (104oF)
  • a red-brown, blotchy rash will appear, usually starting on the head or upper neck before spreading to the rest of the body

Derbyshire residents are encouraged to contact their GPs before they travel abroad to ensure they and their families have had two doses of the MMR vaccine.

Find more information about staying safe while travelling and about measles and other infectious diseases.