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UK Measles Outbreak: The Need for Action Now 23 April 2013

The UK Measles Outbreak continues in South Wales and other parts of the UK. It was reported on Friday (19 April, 2013) that a 25 year old man who died in South Wales had Measles.

The Isle of Man Government, Department of Health would like to prevent a local outbreak. The TT Festival is fast approaching during which time the Island welcomes a large number of visitors and which could increase the risk of spread of Measles. The Department of Health would like to ensure that as many people as possible are protected against measles, as soon as possible.

Public Health recommends the following actions:

  • Children under 10 years of age: The first dose of MMR is given between 12-13 months of age and the second dose as part of the ‘pre-school booster’ vaccination at 3 years and 4 months of age. MMR may be given earlier than 12 months in very special circumstances – for instance if a baby is a close contact of someone with measles infection, however this dose does not give long term protection and a further two doses are required at the usual age.
  • Children over the age of 10 years and adults: Children should have received two doses of MMR before they start school but sometimes one dose is missed. It is therefore important to check that children and young people have received the two doses. MMR can be given at any age - older children and adults who have not received the two doses can be offered the appropriate doses. If two doses are required they are given 4 weeks apart.
  • Born after 1970: and have not had either Measles or two doses of the MMR vaccination, please ensure that you receive two doses of MMR which offers 99% protection.
  • Born before 1970: you are generally thought to have natural immunity by having had the disease or will have immunity through the previously available measles only vaccination. If you believe you are still at risk after talking this through with a nurse or doctor, MMR is available.
  • Symptoms: If you or your child has been in contact with someone who has developed Measles and subsequently develops symptoms such as fever, redness in the eyes and skin rash, it may be Measles and you will need to seek Medical advice by contacting your GP or MEDS by phone. Please DO NOT attend A&E, GP Surgeries, MEDS or MIU unless advised to do so.
  • MMR Vaccine is safe: There is no evidence linking it with autism and this theory has been completely discredited by further research.

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