Keeping young people healthy and well as term begins

There have been 169 confirmed measles cases in the South-East, nearly 100 across Sussex and Surrey so far this year. The measles cases have been in those who are un-immunised or received only one of the two recommended doses.

Measles is:

  •  A highly infectious viral illness which can be very serious, particularly in people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, or babies under one year. 
  • A cough or a sneeze can spread the measles virus over a wide area. If you come into contact with it and are not protected, the chances are very high that you will be infected. •
  • The illness can be more severe in adults and can last for longer. Someone with measles usually has to spend about five days in bed and be off school or work for ten days. Adults are also more susceptible to complications. 
  • If you are concerned you or your child may have measles, stay at home and phone NHS 111 or your GP. 
  • Symptoms include cold like symptoms, fever, cough, and a red brown blotchy rash which usually starts on the head and spreads to the rest of the body. 
  • Measles is infectious for 4 days before and 4 days after the rash appears.


  • Measles is so easily preventable through the MMR (Measles Mumps Rubella) vaccination, a highly effective and safe vaccine.
  • Everyone should ensure they are up to date with 2 doses of MMR to protect themselves and also to prevent the virus spreading to others who may be more vulnerable.
  • Vaccine is offered at 1 year of age and as a pre-school booster at three years, four months of age.

If you have missed these vaccinations it’s never too late – you can still have them at any age through your GP practice.

For parents/carers and staff born before 1970 you’re likely to have natural immunity, but if you were born after 1970 and can’t remember if you’ve had both MMR vaccinations, it’s better to book an appointment to have MMR vaccine because extra doses pose no health risk.

More information about the MMR can be found at NHS Choices and here:


Resources – please find some useful resources attached;

  • a selection of social media banners 

a small selection of materials a poster and a leaflet