Nine measles cases now confirmed in Southend

NINE cases of measles have now been confirmed in Southend, with three more suspected cases awaiting test results.

Southend Council said it was liaising with almost 300 people who may have been exposed to the virus and encouraging them to find out their vaccination status.

The authority added that it had given MMR jabs to 34 people since the first case was discovered.

The council announced on October 2 that it had been informed of a ‘suspected measles outbreak’.

At that time, eight people were thought to have contracted the virus, all of whom attended local day services for people with learning difficulties.

It said on October 2 that its immediate priority was to identify and contact roughly 200 people who may have been exposed.

It temporarily closed a number of day services, in an effort to prevent further exposure.

By October 4, three cases had been confirmed as measles.

Early measles symptoms include a high temperature, sore eyes, sensitivity to light, cold-like symptoms and small, grey/white spots on the insides of the cheeks.

A red-brown ‘blotchy rash’ usually appears several days after the initial symptoms, starting on the head or neck and then spreading outwards to the rest of the body.

Anyone with measles is advised to stay away from school, nursery or work until at least four days after the rash first appears.

They should seek medical help and tell the GP surgery or medical centre in advance that it is a suspected measles case, so they can be kept separate from other patients to prevent exposure.

They should avoid contact with people in general, but especially babies, pregnant women or anybody known to have low immunity to infection.

Southend Council said anybody who had received the MMR jab should be immune and that most people born before 1970 were also likely to be immune as they would have been exposed to measles already.

Charles Thomson

Chief ReporterEmail: [email protected]