Are you protected against measles?

Reposted on behalf of Cheshire Occupational Health Service

It is important that as a Healthcare worker you know your MEASLES status

Measles is a highly infectious, common condition that can have serious, potentially fatal, complications. 18% of all cases in England were admitted to hospital (in the first quarter of this year); of the 108 cases admitted to hospital 15 of these experienced complications such as pneumonia, meningitis and gastroenteritis. Several measles outbreaks have been reported across the country over the past 12 months, a large one of which is currently affecting Swansea where there have been almost 700 confirmed cases of the condition. Experts believe the rise in measles cases can be mostly attributed to the proportion of unprotected 10-16 year-olds who missed out on vaccination in the late 1990s and early 2000s when concern around the discredited link between autism and the vaccine was widespread. A national MMR catch up Campaign has been announced in response to the increase in measles cases.

SIGNS/SYMPTOMS:  The following features are strongly suggestive of measles:

  • rash for at least three days
  • fever for at least one day, and
  • at least one of the following – cough, cold symptoms or conjunctivitis

VACCINATION:  Measles vaccination is part of a combined vaccination which provides protection against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).  Protection of healthcare workers is especially important due to their potential to transmit these conditions to vulnerable groups.

If you are not immune against measles OR are not sure, you should contact to the Occupational Health Service to make arrangements to speak to a nurse to discuss the risk and whether vaccination is recommended.

If you are in any doubt at all please do not hesitate to contact Occupational Health on:

Macclesfield Hospital: 01625 66(1896)

Leighton Hospital: 01270 61(2372)

If you are not immune against measles and have any suggestive symptoms you must seek occupational health advice (GP advice if out of hours) before reporting for work.

Catch BMJ’s Best Practice Measles modules

Extract from BMJ Best Practice

Best Practice Measles summary

measlesMeasles is an epidemic disease prevalent worldwide whose incidence has been curtailed markedly in countries where immunisation is widespread. It is characterised by cough, coryza, conjunctivitis, a characteristic exanthem, and a pathognomonic enanthem (Koplik spots). Measles is preventable by immunisation, but high levels of coverage are required to prevent outbreaks of disease. Treatment is primarily supportive, and complications of measles are more common in immunocompromised and poorly nourished individuals and include pneumonia, laryngotracheitis, otitis media, and encephalitis.

You can view the Best Practice Prevention information on measles here, or Treatment information here.

Free BMJ Learning Modules on measles!

Following the recent outbreak of measles in the UK, BMJ Learning is offering its modules on the subject for free for one month only!

Measles: an update on diagnosis and management

Childhood immunisation: an update

BMJ topics: 2 May

Measles and stroke show why healthcare must innovate   Trevor Jackson


Keeping hand hygiene high on the patient safety agenda   Sheldon Stone, Graziella Kontowski, Rose Gallagher, Julie Storr, and Louise Teare
Measles in the UK: a test of public health competency in a crisis    Felix Greaves and Liam Donaldson

Understanding patterns in maternity care in the NHS and getting it right
  Lucy C Chappell, Catherine Calderwood, Sara Kenyon, Elizabeth S Draper, and Marian Knight

Orlistat: should we worry about liver inflammation?
   John Wilding

Recognising and responding to victims of human trafficking
   Sharon Doherty and Rachel Morley