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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Parents warned over 21-day isolation for children without measles jab

Parents in London have received a stark warning from local councils about the potential consequences of failing to keep their children’s measles vaccinations up to date.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that can lead to complications such as ear infections, pneumonia and inflammation of the brain, which require hospitalisation and on rare occasions can lead to long-term disability or death.

In a bid to avert a major outbreak of measles in the capital, authorities have advised that children who have not received the recommended MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccinations may be required to isolate for 21 days if they are exposed to the highly contagious disease.

Proactive measures

London’s councils are taking proactive measures to address a concerning situation highlighted by research conducted by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). The findings indicate that there could be tens of thousands of measles cases in London if vaccination rates do not improve swiftly.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that can result in severe health complications, including disability and death, particularly among vulnerable populations such as children and the immunocompromised.

The recent communication from London councils emphasizes that any child identified as a close contact of a confirmed measles case, who does not have a satisfactory vaccination status, may be asked to self-isolate for a duration of up to 21 days.

This precautionary measure is designed to curb the potential spread of the disease within the community.

Symptoms include:

  • cold-like symptoms
  • sore, red eyes that may be sensitive to light
  • watery eyes
  • swollen eyes
  • fever
  • small greyish-white spots in the mouth
  • aches and pains
  • loss of appetite

Measles outbreaks

Measles outbreaks have been a growing concern globally, with vaccine hesitancy and misinformation playing a significant role in decreasing vaccination rates. Health authorities and experts have repeatedly emphasised the importance of vaccination to maintain herd immunity and prevent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

London councils are urging parents to ensure that their children’s MMR vaccinations are up to date to safeguard the health of their families and the wider community. The warning comes as part of a broader effort to bolster vaccination rates in the capital and prevent a devastating measles outbreak.

Public health officials are closely monitoring the situation, and local healthcare providers are working to make vaccination services more accessible to London residents.

Vaccines crucial in prevention of measles

Health experts continue to stress that vaccines are a crucial tool in preventing the resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles and protecting the health and well-being of individuals and communities.

Just 15 minutes in direct contact with someone who is infected with measles is enough to catch the infection.

People whose immunity is compromised, pregnant women and unvaccinated children are at increased risk of severe disease.

Children in the UK should have a first dose of the MMR vaccine by their first birthday and the second dose by the time they are three-and-a-half.

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