Public Health England (PHE) has issued advice for the public to ensure they have had the MMR vaccine after outbreaks of measles are confirmed in five areas of England.
As of December 2017, there have been 13 confirmed cases of measles in Birmingham. All of the cases have been reported in children and adults who have not received two doses of the MMR vaccine.
Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can be very unpleasant and can sometimes lead to serious complications.
Children and young people who have not received two doses of MMR vaccine are at risk. Unvaccinated people travelling to Romania and Italy, where there are currently large outbreaks of measles, are at particularly high risk.
Anyone planning to travel to Europe over the Christmas period should check travel health advice.
PHE local health protection teams are working closely with the NHS and local authorities to raise awareness of the outbreaks in England and Europe with health professionals and local communities.
The MMR vaccine is available to all adults and children who are not up to date with their two doses. Anyone who is not sure if they are fully vaccinated should check with their GP practice.
Public Health Consultant for Health protection, Dr Nadia Inglis, has said: “Measles is a highly infectious illness, and can have very serious consequences. We are lucky in this country to have seen numbers of cases of measles drop due to our successful vaccination programme, but we are concerned to see this upturn in numbers of cases.
“It is really important for all children and young people to be fully vaccinated with two doses of MMR, and especially before travelling to countries where we have been seeing large outbreaks and individuals affected, such as Romania, Italy, Germany and Greece.”
Cabinet Member for Public Health and Sport, Councillor Kamran Caan added: “It is hugely important for people to make sure they are doing all that they can to keep themselves protected.
We urge those unsure about MMR vaccinations to speak to their GP in order to protect themselves and their loved ones.”
If you need urgent medical care, please phone NHS 111.