Measles update

Last updated: Thursday, 28 March 2024

Children's models

There has been an increase in cases of measles across the UK, including in London and the south east.

If you're concerned your child may have measles please contact your GP or ring 111 first.

Please do not attend the hospital if you suspect you or your child have measles to avoid the risk of spreading the disease to vulnerable people. It can spread very easily.

If you need to attend our emergency department (A&E)

If you're told to attend our emergency department (A&E) please report to the reception and explain that you have come with a patient with suspected measles. This will give the team a chance to consider how to keep your family and others safe from spreading the potential infection.

Please bring your child's vaccination record whenever possible. This is usually recorded in your Redbook (the personal child health record given shortly before or after your child's birth).

If you're not sure whether you've had both doses of the MMR vaccine, your GP surgery should be able to check. You may also be able to access your vaccination record online.

Please keep chaperones to a minimum – this means only 1 parent or carer and no siblings.

Vaccinations to protect against measles

2 doses of the MMR vaccine can help stop you or your child from becoming seriously unwell with measles. Normally the 1st is given at 12 months and the 2nd between the ages of 18 months and 3 years 5 months old. Even if you or your children have missed these vaccines, it's not too late to get them.

If your child has had both doses of their MMR vaccine, there is almost no chance of them becoming unwell with measles (unless they have a severely weakened immune system).

Contact your GP if you're not sure if you or your child have had the vaccine.

Where to receive vaccinations in Lambeth and Southwark

Measles vaccination information on the Southwark Council website.

Information about vaccines for children on the Lambeth Together website.

Help to reduce the spread of measles

Measles is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. To reduce the risk of spreading or catching it please:

  • wash your hands often with soap and warm water or use hand gel
  • use tissues when you cough or sneeze
  • throw used tissues in the bin
  • do not share cutlery, cups, towels, clothes, or bedding

Caring for children and young people with measles

Measles usually starts to get better in about a week. 

While your child is recovering:

  • encourage them to rest and drink plenty of fluids, like water, to avoid dehydration
  • give them paracetamol or ibuprofen, as directed, to relieve a high temperature
  • use cotton wool soaked in warm water to gently remove any crusts from their eyes

Do not take your child to nursery or school, and stay home from work for at least 4 days from when the rash first appears.

Avoid close contact with babies, people who are pregnant and people with weakened immune systems.

Helpful links

Measles information on the NHS website.

Measles information on the Healthier Together website.

Information about childhood vaccinations on the Healthier Together website.

Contact us

Media enquiries
Phone: 020 7188 5577