Measles is a very infectious virus which although now rare in the UK, does still occur throughout the world. Outbreaks of this disease are still common usually in developing countries without national immunisation schedules to include the measles vaccine. Measles can cause a number of symptoms including flu-like conditions, high temperature, sensitivity to light and spots in the throat and mouth. Anyone who has not been vaccinated against measles can be infected although it is most common amongst young children.
Although most people recover from measles within a week or so, some people, especially young children and babies can go on to develop very serious symptoms such as bacterial infection of the lungs and brain which can be fatal.
Measles is given as part of the combined Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccine and is given to most people in the UK as part of the national vaccination schedule. It is given to children routinely usually when they are around 13 months old with a booster prior to school. If you are travelling to an area with a known outbreak of measles and are unsure of your vaccination status, a vaccination may be recommended.
Fortunately measles is now rare in the UK and other developed countries due to their national vaccination programmes. There are however outbreaks from time-to-time where vaccination levels are reduced such as the recent outbreak in south Wales. There are also outbreaks throughout the world which travellers need to be aware of before they travel. Recent outbreaks have occurred in Vietnam, The Philippines and Indonesia.
Measles is spread between people when an infected person coughs or sneezes and spreads the virus which is found in the little droplets that come out. People become infected after breathing in these droplets or after coming into contact with a surface that someone has coughed on and then place their hand near their mouth to breath them in.
As outlined, the Measles Vaccine is part of the UK national vaccination schedule and should be given to all children prior to starting school. If you however need a booster or are a non-immune adult, you should always try and come and see a travel nurse at least six weeks prior to travelling.
The MMR vaccine is part of the UK national vaccination schedule and is given to babies at around 13 months as well as a booster prior to beginning school. It is not suitable however for babies under the age of 6 months. Older children and adults who have not been given this vaccination as part of the national schedule and are therefore non-immune can have a catch up course of two injections.
If you are planning on getting pregnant, you may be advised to get the MMR vaccination should you not have received on in the past. The MMR vaccination is however not suitable for women who are pregnant or who are to become pregnant a month after the vaccination.
Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccine Facts and Figures
- Disease: Measles, Mumps and Rubella.
- Vaccine name: MMR Vax Pro
- Property: Combined live vaccine
- Administration: By injection, IM route (deltoid)
- Dose: 0.5ml pre-filled syringe
- Course: 2 doses ( > 1 month apart)
- Booster: No booster following the primary course of 2 doses
- Side effects: Local reaction, pain, redness, inflammation, flu like symptoms, GI disturbance, rash. (commonly one week following vaccination)
- Special instructions: Wait three months before giving MMR after blood transfusion or immunoglobulin administration. Avoid pregnancy for at least one moth after vaccination. Contains gelatin. We do not use or stock individual vaccinations. MMR is given as part of the national childhood immunisation schedule, its includes two doses. Un-immunised travellers going to areas where measles is endemic should receive the vaccine
Our London Travel Clinics
All 3 of our centrally located travel clinics are convenient for people living and working in London. Liverpool Street, London Bridge and High St Kensington. We are open early morning, lunchtime, evening and weekends and provide all of the vaccinations and medications that you need.