Unvaccinated children could face 21-day isolation as cases of measles rise

The contagious infection usually presents with cold-like symptoms at first, followed by a rash a few days later.

Despite the high transmissibility, just three-quarters of London children have received the two required doses of the MMR jab, which protects against measles. 

The jab is offered to all children in the UK, with two doses offering lifelong protection against measles, mumps, and rubella.

On July 20, Barnet Council wrote to parents sharing that any unvaccinated child identified as a close contact of a measles case could be asked to self-isolate for up to three weeks.

The letter states: “Measles is of serious concern in London due to low childhood vaccination rates. 

“Currently we are seeing an increase in measles cases circulating in neighbouring London boroughs, so now is a good time to check that your child’s MMR vaccination – which not only protects your child against measles but also mumps and rubella – is up to date.”

However, if your child has the necessary immunisation, it doesn’t need to be excluded from school or childcare, the letter added.

Neighbouring Haringey Council also said that children without both MMR doses may be asked to quarantine, according to the Telegraph

Data suggests that just over two-thirds of children in the area had received both doses of the jabs by the age of five.

How to spot measles

According to the NHS, the first symptoms of measles include:

  • A high temperature
  • A runny or blocked nose
  • Sneezing
  • A cough
  • Red, sore, watery eyes.

Appearing a few days after the cold-like symptoms, the rash, which looks brown or red on white skin but may be harder to see on brown and black skin, usually starts on the face and behind the ears before spreading to the rest of the body.

The health service recommends seeking help from your GP if you or your child have measles but you should call them beforehand as they may suggest talking over the phone due to the high transmissibility. 



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