Posted by: rachael.obrien - Posted on:

Since 1 October 2023, there has been an increase in measles cases across England.

Measles is an infection that spreads very easily and can cause serious problems in some
people. Having the MMR vaccine is the best way to protect someone from becoming
seriously unwell with measles. Information for the public about measles is available on

You should ask for an urgent appointment with your GP practice or get help from NHS 111 if:

  • You think you or your child may have measles
  • If you or your child have been in close contact with someone who has measles and
    not had measles before or had 2 doses of the MMR vaccine
  • You’ve been in close contact with someone who has measles and you’re pregnant –
    measles can be serious in pregnancy
  • You have a child < 1 year of age who you think has been in close contact with
  • You have a weakened immune system and think you have measles or have been in
    close contact with someone with measles

Measles can spread to others easily. Call your GP surgery before you go in and let them
know you suspect you or your child may have measles. They may suggest talking over the
phone and/or putting you in a side room when you arrive. If you need to visit A&E it is
important that you inform the team as soon as you arrive that you suspect measles.

You can also call 111 or get help from 111 online.

UKHSA has published resources for members of the public to encourage awareness of
measles signs and symptoms, and to inform the public on how to prevent the spread of
measles including MMR vaccine uptake. Immunisation – GOV.UK (

What about vaccinations?

The Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is the safest way to protect you from
measles, mumps and rubella infections. Two doses offer lifelong protection against
becoming seriously unwell with all three.

Getting vaccinated is important, as these conditions can also lead to serious problems
including meningitis, hearing loss and problems during pregnancy.

Millions of parents and carers in England are being urged to book their children in for their
missed MMR vaccine as part of a major NHS drive to protect families as measles cases
continue to rise across the country.

NHS England has contacted parents of children aged from six to 11 years, whose medical
records show that they have not had two doses of the MMR vaccine encouraging them to
make an appointment with their child’s GP practice for any missed doses.

The NHS campaign has also begun to target areas with lower uptake of the vaccine. During
February and March, the health service will have contacted almost one million families with
unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people aged 11 to 16 years. In London, Manchester,
and the West Midlands young adults ages 17 to 25 years-old will also be contacted to invite
them to catch up on their missed MMR vaccinations.