A ProMED-mail post
Archive Number: 20121125.1423658
Measles alert after outbreak in schools across Lanarkshire
Parents have been warned of a measles outbreak after 9 cases were confirmed in Lanarkshire. NHS [National Health Service] Lanarkshire has written to all parents with children attending Newmains Nursery Centre, Morningside Primary in Newmains and Larkhall Academy to inform them of the situation. The parents have been offered health advice and the option of the MMR [measles, mumps and rubella] vaccine where suitable for some children and young people. Those affected are currently recovering at home.
More than 94 percent of children attending these schools have had at least one dose of the MMR vaccine — a statistic Dr David Cromie says is “encouraging.” The consultant in public health medicine said: “Although the cases caught measles in their own communities, some of them have attended local schools and could spread the illness to others.
“MMR vaccination provides good individual protection against measles and a high uptake rate in a social group helps prevent measles from spreading. So, it is very encouraging that more than 94 percent of children attending these schools have had at least one dose of MMR. However, we are recommending that all children should have at least one dose of MMR and those who are over 40 months of age should have 2 doses of MMR vaccine. Those who would benefit from MMR vaccine are being offered the jab by public health nurses.”
Measles is a very infectious disease which is caused by a virus. It is spread from person to person by sneezing and coughing. Dr Cromie added: “Measles used to be a common disease of childhood but is currently rare. Most people who get measles get a fever, rash, runny nose, sore throat — with white spots in the mouth — and cough. They can feel quite unwell for a week and usually recover completely within a few weeks, but for some it can be very severe and even life threatening.”
North Lanarkshire Council have confirmed that they have no plans to close Newmains Nursery Centre and Morningside Primary in Newmains tomorrow. A spokesperson for South Lanarkshire Council said: “We can confirm that NHS Lanarkshire issued a letter to the parents of children at Larkhall Academy to advise of an outbreak of measles amongst a small number of young people. The letter offers health advice and the option of the MMR vaccine where suitable for some children and young people. The school remains open as normal. NHS Lanarkshire is encouraging anyone concerned that they or their children may have measles to contact their GP.
This report reinforces the prediction that elimination of outbreaks of measles will not be achieved until at least 95 percent of a susceptible population receive 2 does of the MMR vaccine.