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Measles is highly infectious – the most infectious of all diseases transmitted through the respiratory route. Teenagers, young adults and anyone who has missed their MMR vaccination can get measles and increased outbreaks have been recorded in England recently. Measles can be severe, particularly in immunosuppressed individuals and young infants. It is also more severe in pregnancy. However, it is never too late to be vaccinated. You need two doses of MMR one month apart to be fully protected against measles, mumps and rubella.
Symptoms of measles include:
• high fever
• rash – sometimes starting around the ears
• sore red eyes
• aching and feeling unwell
If you think you might already have measles, mumps or rubella, it is important to reduce the risk of spreading the infection to other people and you should:
• Phone your GP for advice, they may need to make arrangements for you to visit the surgery at the end of the day so that you avoid contact with people who are more vulnerable to the infection, such as young children and pregnant women.
• Avoid work or school for at least 5 days from when you first developed the measles rash.
• Make arrangements to have any outstanding doses of the vaccine once you have recovered. This will protect you against the other two infections.