In a follow-up on the measles outbreak in England, national health officials report the number of cases are growing and the geography is expanding.
According to Public Health England (PHE), as of 11 December 2017, there have been 28 confirmed cases in Leeds, 18 confirmed cases in Liverpool, 7 confirmed cases in Surrey, 4 confirmed cases in Manchester and 13 confirmed cases in Birmingham.
This is up from 36 total confirmed cases less than two weeks ago.
All of the cases have been reported in children and adults who have not received 2 doses of the MMR vaccine.
As previously reported, the measles outbreaks currently seen in England are linked to ongoing large outbreaks in Europe.
Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can be very unpleasant and sometimes lead to serious complications. The measles virus is contained in the millions of tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
The initial symptoms of measles develop around 10 days after you’re infected.
These can include:
- cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing, and a cough
- sore, red eyes that may be sensitive to light
- a high temperature (fever), which may reach around 40C (104F)
- small greyish-white spots on the inside of the cheeks
A few days later, a red-brown blotchy rash will appear. This usually starts on the head or upper neck, before spreading outwards to the rest of the body.
Measles can be unpleasant, but will usually pass in about 7 to 10 days without causing any further problems.
Once you’ve had measles, your body builds up resistance (immunity) to the virus and it’s highly unlikely you’ll get it again.
However, measles can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications in some people. These include infections of the lungs (pneumonia) and brain (encephalitis).