Up to 20 measles cases in County Durham

County Durham/United Kingdom UPDATE: Since this release County Durham and Darlington, Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham and Hartlepool continue to see elevated measles cases. Read about these alerts in more detail here. More links to the…

Up to 20 measles cases in County Durham

County Durham/United Kingdom

UPDATE: Since this release County Durham and Darlington, Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham and Hartlepool continue to see elevated measles cases. Read about these alerts in more detail here. More links to the outbreak as they become available.

An outbreak in Durham has infected 19 people and caused 20 hospitalisations since mid-October, health bosses say.

The National Health Service is warning of the “very serious disease risk” from a small number of cases across three districts and the outbreak has spread to a fourth district, too.

In March, 22 babies were given superbug treatment after being infected with measles.

The infection is spread by close contact with an infected person.

Across the UK, there have been more than 6,000 cases of measles this year compared to around 2,000 in 2015.

The majority of cases have been reported in the South East, with many not being diagnosed until long after they have been exposed to the disease.

Measles is a highly infectious respiratory disease which spreads easily among close contacts and is one of the most dangerous childhood infections.

Parents with measles should keep the child at home for 21 days, until at least six days after they are past the first episode of illness.

Anyone with measles who is still in the current illness should not visit care homes, nurseries or day schools or return to work.

In rare cases, measles can lead to death. Symptoms of measles include a rash which may begin one to two days after exposure to the virus.

There is no vaccine to prevent measles, but cases can be prevented if people are vaccinated.

Children are advised to get two doses of the MMR vaccine – one at the age of 12 months and another at one-year-old – while adults should get two MMR vaccinations before the age of 55.

In 2017, the Government issued a one-off payment of £66 per vaccine from the Govia North East NHS Foundation Trust to tackle some of the cost of the vaccinations.

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