Fifers urged to ensure they are fully protected against measles as case confirmed in Kingdom
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NHS Fife said on Tuesday that the East Region Health Protection Team are currently investigating a confirmed case of the virus in the area.
Close contacts of the individual have been contacted and measures have been put in place to help reduce the opportunity for the virus to spread.
Measles can be a very serious condition, causing pneumonia and encephalitis (inflamation of the brain), and it can affect those of any age if they have not been vaccinated.
The virus is highly transmissible and while there have only been two confirmed cases in Scotland since October 2023, measles has been increasingly prevalent in other parts of the UK in recent months, as well as in mainland Europe.
The health board is urging people in Fife to familiarise themselves with the most common symptoms of the virus. These include cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing and a cough; sore, red or watery eyes that may be sensitive to light’ a high temperature (fever) which may reach around 40°C (104°F); small greyish-white spots in the mouth; aches and pains; loss of appetite and tiredness, irritability and a general lack of energy.
Health chiefs say the best protection against the virus is to receive two doses of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine.
Uptake of the MMR vaccine has declined across all UK nations in recent years and there remains a risk of infection in those who are not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated for their age.
The vaccine is usually offered in early childhood – a first dose for children between 12 and 13 months and a second dose offered at three years and four months – although it can be given at any age and offers life-long protection against the virus.
Anyone, of any age, who has not had two doses of the free MMR vaccine, as well as parents and carers of children who have missed a dose, can arrange vaccination through Fife’s immunisation team.
The team are available Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm by calling 01383 565456 or emailing [email protected]
Further information on measles and how to check you or your child is fully protected can be found on the NHS inform website.