Measles Vaccination – No NHS referrals needed
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Measles is a viral disease of childhood that presents with a rash and fever (often with initial cough and cold symptoms).
It can cause significant illness in children, and complications include ear infections, pneumonia, meningitis and encephalitis. Death occurs in 1 in 2,500-5,000 cases. A severe degenerative condition of the brain (sub-acute sclerosing pan-encephalitis) causing permanent severe brain damage occurs in 1 in 8,000 cases under the age of 2.
Measles can be prevented by MMR vaccination. MMR single vaccination is a safe alternative to the NHS MMR schedule. The single measles vaccination gives a higher level of protection against the disease at 97% after the first primary vaccination. Single MMR jabs are given at six week intervals. We recommend that Rubella (German Measles) single MMR is given first as it is a milder vaccination with little reaction. Next the measles single MMR jab is given . The Mumps single M-M-R jab is left to the end of each course. Currently the Mumps vaccine is not available in the USA or UK as a single. However it is given in Asia, Russia and China where the singles are the most prevalent way of vaccinating against these childhood diseases.
Two courses of single mmr jabs are required for permanent immunity: the first single mmr course is given between 13-18 months, the second “booster” course is given at 3 ½ years onwards (the “pre-school” single mmr vaccination).
This single mmr vaccination schedule is identical to that recommended by the NHS, apart from using single jabs as opposed to the NHS combined MMR vaccine.
MMR single vaccinations are manufactured in France, India the EU, China and Russia. Single vaccinations we use for Measles and Rubella are approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and mmr single vaccinations have a specific import licence granted by the Medicines Health Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the body that maintains strict control on the use of medicines and vaccines in the UK.
MMR single jabs are specially imported and stored at temperatures between 2-8 C., to ensure that their effectiveness is maintained.
All our doctors are either trained GP’s, Registrar or UK Specialist Registered Paediatric and Neonatology Consultants. All our doctors are registered with the GMC (General Medical Council) and have professional indemnity insurance. We maintain a strict code of conduct to ensure the highest standards of patient care.
Symptoms of measles:
The initial symptoms of measles appear around 10 days after you get the measles infection and generally last for up to 14 days. The measles rash usually appears a few days afterwards.
The initial symptoms of measles include:
- cold-like symptoms, such as runny nose, watery eyes, swollen eyelids and sneezing
- red eyes and sensitivity to light
- a mild to severe temperature, which may peak at over 40.6C (105F) for several days, then fall but go up again when the rash appears
- tiny greyish-white spots (called Koplik’s spots) in the mouth and throat
- tiredness, irritability and general lack of energy
- aches and pains
- poor appetite
- dry cough
- red-brown spotty rash (see below)
The measles rash appears two to four days after initial symptoms and lasts for up to eight days. The spots usually start behind the ears, spread around the head and neck, then spread to the legs and the rest of the body.
The spots are initially small but quickly get bigger and often join together. Similar-looking rashes may be mistaken for measles, but measles has a range of other symptoms too, not just a rash.
Look at our childhood conditions slideshow to see what the measles rash looks like.
Most childhood rashes are not measles, but see your GP without delay if:
- You suspect it is measles.
- Your symptoms worsen.
- Your temperature increases to above 38C (100.4F).
- Your temperature stays high after other symptoms have gone.
- There are signs of other related illnesses or complications of measles.
Your GP will usually be able to diagnose measles from the combination of symptoms, such as the characteristic rash and the small spots inside the mouth.
A simple saliva or blood test can confirm the diagnosis and identify the rubeola virus.
Doctors have a duty to notify the local Health Protection Unit of all reported and suspected cases of measles. They will also notify the child’s school if necessary.
Your child should not return to school until at least five days after the appearance of the rash.
Causes of measles
Measles is caused by infection with the rubeola virus. This virus is contained in the millions of tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when someone with measles coughs or sneezes.
You can catch measles by breathing in these droplets or, if the droplets have settled on a surface, by touching the surface and then placing your hands near your nose or mouth. The measles virus can survive on surfaces for a few hours.
Once inside your body, the virus multiplies in the back of your throat and lungs before spreading throughout your body, including your respiratory system and the skin.
Someone with measles is infectious for two to four days before the rash appears and for about five days after it appears.
Anyone who has not had measles before and hasn’t been vaccinated can be infected. However, cases of re-infection after you have had the virus are extremely rare because the body builds up immunity (resistance) to the virus.
Most people who are not immune from measles and are sharing a house with somebody who is infected will catch it. For Peace of Mind all children should be immunised against this childhood disease twice once from the age of 12 months and again at 3 years and 4 months prior to starting school.