Measles: "National incident" declared and children forced to isolate as UK cases soar

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There have been more than 300 confirmed of likely measles cases in the past few months.

Children are being forced to isolate after a measles outbreak was declared a "national incident" by health bosses.

Since October there have been more than 300 confirmed or likealy cases of measles in the west midlands, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). This has led to Birmingham Children’s Hospital being inundated with the highest number of measles cases in decades.

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Health officials say a low vaccination rate is likely to blame for the outbreak.

Councillor Rob Pocock, acting cabinet member for health and social care for Birmingham City Council, said on X: "Public health alert - measles outbreak intensifying. Now over 180 cases in Birmingham, and nationwide a national incident has been declared today.

"Measles immunisation advice is on show at your GP surgery, but if your child has symptoms please do nottake them to the surgery. Don't risk the spread!

"Phone for advice or NHS 111 or online."

According to the NHS, early symptoms of measles can be similar to a cold, followed by small white spots appearing inside a person's mouth. This is soon followed by the "measles rash" which starts behind the face and ears before spreading to the rest of the body.

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You should ask for an urgent GP appointment or get help from NHS 111 if you think you or your child may have measles, or have been in close contact with someone who has measles and are either pregnant or have a weakened immune system.

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Also posting on X, UKHSA advised: "Measles an be a serious infection that can lead to complications, especially in young children and those with weakened immune systems. Measles spreads easily but it is preventable.

"Make sure you and your loved ones are up to date with your MMR jabs or catch up on any missed jabs."

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