More than 50 cases of measles have now been seen in Bradford since the end of March 2018, it has been revealed.

Now people in the district are being encouraged to check themselves and their children have had two doses of Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine before summer travel.

Public Health England (PHE) is warning the figure could rise even further and is working with Bradford Council and the NHS to make sure anyone across the city who needs an MMR vaccine is aware.

Dr Suzanne Coles, Consultant in Health Protection with PHE Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “We know that right now across Bradford, many families will be making arrangements for summer travel or events and we’re urging families to put MMR vaccination at the top of their checklist. Many families will be planning to holiday in parts of Europe where there are large ongoing measles outbreaks, or travel to other countries where measles vaccination coverage is low and measles is endemic. Anyone who isn’t fully vaccinated against the disease is at risk of the highly infectious virus.

“The free vaccine is offered at one year of age and as a pre-school booster at three years, four months of age. Regardless of your summer plans, if children and young adults have missed these vaccinations in the past, it’s important to take up the vaccine now from GPs. If you’re offered the vaccine by your GP, please don’t delay in taking it up, particularly in light of the recent cases in Bradford. Two MMR vaccines are needed to be fully vaccinated and GPs will advise when the second dose can be given for anyone receiving their first."

She added: “Check your child’s Red Book to see if they’ve received MMR vaccinations as scheduled, or check with your GP surgery if you’re unsure. Most healthy adults will have developed some immunity to measles but can still receive two doses of the vaccine from their GP too.”

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness, so anyone with symptoms is also being advised to stay at home and phone their GP or NHS 111 for advice, rather than visiting the surgery or A&E, to prevent the illness spreading further. It is possible for anyone at any age to get measles and the illness can be more severe in teenagers and adults than in young children.

Dr Coles added: “Measles is extremely infectious to anyone who may not be immune."

Measles symptoms to be aware of include high fever, sore, red, watery eyes, coughing, aching and feeling generally unwell and a blotchy red brown rash, which usually appears after the initial symptoms.