As you will be aware there are an increasing number of measles cases and local outbreaks being reported across England and Wales.Whilst we should keep the current outbreak in perspective, (to date there has not been an outbreak in Somerset), the forthcoming exam season and the vulnerability of those who have not been vaccinated means that we should not be complacent.
The pattern of disease in recent years has changed with many of the cases currently being confirmed in older children and teenagers who are unvaccinated. Measles is a highly infectious disease and schools offer an opportunity for the infection to spread rapidly. It is therefore important that parents and teenagers are alerted to the risks and advised to get vaccinated if they have not received two doses of MMR.
You will have seen the national media statement concerning measles. Public Health England and Somerset County Council are working closely together and have written to the School Nursing Service informing them of the campaign. We do not currently plan any schools based clinics as this will be undertaken at GP surgeries in the first instance in this area to avoid disruption to schools during this busy period. We will review this in discussion with Head Teachers if the situation changes or outbreaks occur.
In order to achieve the widest publicity for the campaign message we would, however, be grateful if you could pass on to parents and guardians a note providing advice on what to do if they have concerns. To assist you we have prepared a template letter that can be used. Your cooperation is very much appreciated.
For further advice / queries please look at NHS Choices or if you have specific queries concerning measles infections contact your local PHE Centre on 0845 504 8668 option 1.