Spreading very easily, Measles can cause serious issues among some people so here is everything you need to know.

The contagious infection is caused by a virus and while it often gets better on its own, some people can become very sick.

"Measles is not just a childhood disease and can be serious at any age," according to Steve Russell, NHS Director of Vaccinations and Screening, said. 

He added: “Measles is a serious illness, with one in five children who get the disease having to be admitted to hospital for treatment, so if you or your child have not had your MMR jab, it is vital you come forward”.

Here is everything you need to know about measles from the symptoms to the treatment.

Measles symptoms to look out for

The earliest signs of measles infection include:

  • high fever
  • runny nose
  • cough
  • red and watery eyes
  • koplik spots (small red spots with bluish-white centres) inside the mouth

After several days, a rash appears, usually on the face and upper neck.

The rash spreads, eventually reaching the hands and feet and lasts 5 to 6 days before fading.

Measles is commonly confused with other infections that can lead to a rash.

For further guidance, visit the NHS website.

Treatment for measles

There is no specific treatment for measles, and for most mild cases will be recommended rest to recover from the illness.

Government guidance says: “Most patients with uncomplicated measles will recover with rest and supportive treatment (such as hydration and antipyretics).

“Secondary bacterial infections should be treated with antibiotics. All suspected cases should be confirmed, ideally by testing of oral fluid (saliva), but management will often have to be based on a clinical and epidemiological risk assessment of the likelihood of the case being true measles.”

Can you get measles after being fully vaccinated?

"The measles vaccine is very effective," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The experts add: "Two doses of measles vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles if exposed to the virus. One dose is about 93% effective"

Fully vaccinated people - but very few - can get measles.

The CDC estimates that this figure is about three out of 100.

"Experts aren’t sure why. It could be that their immune systems didn’t respond as well as they should have to the vaccine," the CDC explained on its website.

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The experts continued: "But the good news is, fully vaccinated people who get measles seem more likely to have a milder illness".

Health Minister Maria Caulfield said: “Measles is a serious but entirely preventable disease.

“The MMR vaccine is proven to be safe for youngsters and offers lifelong protection.

“I’m urging everyone whose child is not yet fully vaccinated to come forward and get them protected as soon as possible”.