Doctor on How to Avoid 'World’s Most Infectious Disease’ as Cases Soar in UK

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07/09/2024

A doctor has issued crucial advice to Brits as cases of one of the world’s most infectious diseases continue to rise. Measles is seeing a resurgence not just in the UK but also on continental Europe.

Measles is a viral illness which usually starts with cold-like symptoms, followed by a rash a few days later. Some people may also have small spots in their mouth.

According to the NHS, measles can lead to serious problems if it spreads to other parts of the body, such as the lungs or brain. Issues that can arise include pneumonia, meningitis, blindness or seizures. Babies and people with weakened immune systems are especially at risk.

Those who have been vaccinated with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine are unlikely to catch it, the NHS says. Speaking to BBC’s Morning Live, Dr Oscar Duke had this advice.

“Measles is on the rise – we have seen a rise in measles in both the UK and Europe unfortunately in the last year. How can we stop it?

“Vaccination has to be the No. 1 thing, your MMR vaccine. There was a lot of controversy in the past about MMR vaccines which has been disproven.

“MMR vaccines come in two doses in childhood but if you have missed it in childhood, you can still have it as an adult. Certain people can’t have it because it is a live vaccine, so if you are pregnant or have a weakened immune system, you might not be able to have it at that time but your GP will help you with that. If you haven’t had it, do go along because there is a higher risk of getting measles at the moment.”

According to the World Health Organisation, more than 56,000 cases of measles have been reported in the European region during the first three months of 2024. There were only 61,000 cases in that region during the whole of 2023.

More than half of those who had the disease were forced to go to hospital to seek treatment. It is thought large numbers of children who missed their vaccines due to the Covid-19 pandemic are to blame for the current surge.

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