Young adults in Sandwell and West Birmingham planning to attend summer festivals are being urged to make sure they’re up to date with their measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) jabs. The plea has been issued by NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as measles and mumps cases across England continue to rise.
Mass gathering events like festivals can be hot spots for measles and mumps as they present the perfect opportunity for the infection to spread. There has recently been an increase in measles and mumps cases across England, particularly in young people and children. There are also several large measles outbreaks across Europe.
Measles cases in Birmingham hit a record high last year. There were 100 confirmed cases of measles reported to Public Health England (PHE) in 2018. Latest figures from NHS England show that 231 new measles infections were confirmed between January and March 2019 compared to 90 in the last quarter of 2018. Most of the cases this quarter were associated with outbreaks in London, the North West and the East of England. *
Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can sometimes lead to serious complications. It can be more severe in teenagers and adults than in children. Two doses of the MMR vaccine offer the best protection against measles and mumps.
Prof Nick Harding, Chair of NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, said:
“Measles and mumps are currently circulating in England and Europe, particularly those who are unvaccinated and most at risk. Measles is very infectious, can cause serious complications and, in rare cases, can be fatal
“Although they’re great fun, festivals can be hotspots for measles or mumps – anyone who has not had two doses of the MMR vaccine is at risk. Some people aged 15-25 years may have missed out on the MMR vaccine when they were younger. So, it’s important that they check if they are up to date with their GP practice and make an appointment to get caught up before attending festivals.”
The MMR vaccine is available free to all adults and children who are not up to date with their two doses. It is never too late to get the vaccine which protects against measles, mumps and rubella – all of which can be very serious diseases and are highly infectious. For more information visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/mmr-vaccine/