You can avoid catching measles by having the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
If the MMR vaccine isn't suitable for you , a treatment called human normal immunoglobulin (HNIG) can be used if you're at immediate risk of catching measles.
The MMR vaccine is given as part of the routine childhood vaccination programme. One dose is usually given to a child when they're 12-13 months old anda second dose is given before they start school, usually between three and five years old.
Contact your GP if you are uncertain about whether your child's vaccinations are up-to-date.
You or your child can be vaccinated at any point if you haven't been fully vaccinated before. If you're not sure whether you were vaccinated in the past, having the vaccine again won't cause any harm.
A dose of the MMR vaccine can also be given to anyone oversix months of age if they're at an immediate risk of catching measles. For example, this could be if:
Children who have the vaccine before their first birthday should still have the two routine doses at around 13 months of age and before they start school.
Human normal immunoglobulin (HNIG) is aspecial concentration of antibodies that can give short-term but immediate protection against measles.
It may be recommended for people in the following groups if they've been exposed to someone with measles:
HNIG should ideally be given within six days of exposure.
If you already have measles, it's important to reduce the risk of spreading the infection to other people.
Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can be very unpleasant and sometimes lead to serious complications. Anyone can get measles if they haven't been vaccinated or they haven't had it before, although it's most common in young children.
Measles starts with cold-like symptoms that develop about 10 days after becoming infected. This is followed a few days later by the measles rash. Initial symptoms include; a runny or blocked nose, sneezing, watering eyes, swollen eyelids, etc.
There's no specific treatment for measles, but the condition usually improves within 7 to 10 days. Your GP will probably suggest taking things easy at home until you're feeling better.
More common complications of measles include: diarrhoea and vomiting, which can lead to dehydration. Middle ear infection (otitis media), which can cause earache. Eye infection (conjunctivitis) inflammation of the voice box (laryngitis) pneumonia, bronchitis and croup ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ infections of the airways and lungs.
You can avoid catching measles by having the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. If the MMR vaccine isn't suitable for you , a treatment called human normal immunoglobulin (HNIG) can be used if you're at immediate risk of catching measles.