Important update from the Luton Director of Public Health- Measles
Dear Parents and Carers,
- Measles is highly contagious and can lead to complications such as ear infections, pneumonia, and inflammation of the brain which require hospitalisation and on rare occasions can lead to long term disability or death.
- Getting your child vaccinated (MMR) is the best protection, and it’s not too late to be vaccinated
- Getting your child vaccinated would also stop them from being sent home from school to self-isolate for 3 weeks if there was an outbreak
Across the UK, particularly in Birmingham, Sheffield and London, the numbers of measles cases are rising rapidly. At present, there are no known cases in Luton, however, local vaccine uptake is low, with on average, 3 in every 10 children missing or not up to date with important vaccines. This means the risk of infection and passing it on is much higher.
Spending 15 minutes or more in the same room as with someone infected with measles is enough to catch the infection. Unvaccinated children may need to self-isolate for up to 21 days if they come into contact with someone with the infection, meaning they wouldn’t be able to go to school or childcare.
The MMR vaccine is a free, safe and effective way of protecting against measles, as well as mumps and rubella. Children are usually vaccinated with MMR with two doses at 1 year and 3 years old. However if your child has not had one or both doses, they can still be vaccinated now, and this would still protect them from infection.
- Children and young people can attend the regular local catch-up and community clinics held around Luton. Invites may come directly to your home address or from your child’s school. Please respond if invited.
- Contact the School immunisation and community catch-up team directly; Tel: 0300 790 0594 or visit The School immunisation service website
- Contact your registered GP practice, especially for adult vaccine queries.
Signs and symptoms
Anyone with symptoms is advised to stay at home, phoning their GP or NHS 111 for advice. Typical signs and symptoms are:
- High fever
- Aching and feeling generally unwell
- A blotchy red brown rash, which usually appears after initial symptoms
- Sore, red, watery eyes
Director of Public Health
- NHS information and guidance on the MMR vaccine
- The vaccine knowledge project (independent, evidence-based information about vaccines and infectious diseases)
- Measles resources in additional languages (Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Chinese, French, German, Herbrew, Hindi, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romany, Romanian Spanish, Swahili, Tagolog, Tamil, Turkish, Urkrainian and Urdu)
- Other formats include; audio braille, British sign language (BSL) video, easy read and large prints
- UKHSA warning on the spread of measles 19th January 2024