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Formerly: St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

Page banner stating Could it be measles? And what should I do if it is?

We are seeing an increase in cases of measles across our communities.

The illness can be highly contagious and even brief contact with someone carrying the infection can pass it on to others.

If you are concerned you or your child may have measles, please do not attend our hospitals or urgent treatment centre, either as a patient or visitor.

If you or your child require emergency care, please ring NHS 111 before attending A&E.

What to expect if you are told to come to A&E:

If you are told to visit one of our A&E departments, or our Urgent Treatment Centre, please let a member of our reception team know immediately upon entering the building.

From there, you will be taken to another room to help prevent the infection from spreading to other patients.

To help us reduce the risk of it spreading to others, please use tissues when you cough or sneeze, and throw them in the bin. And remember to wash your hands often with soap and warm water or by using hand gel.

Further information about measles

What are the symptoms?

Measles Symptoms 1 Banner

Measles symptoms 2 banner

Measles symptoms 3 banner

The measles rash

A rash usually appears a few days after the cold-like symptoms.

The rash starts on the face and behind the ears before spreading to the rest of the body.

Measles rash white spots under a persons tongue

Measles spots on a child's forehead

Measles spots on a child's chest

The spots of the measles rash are sometimes raised and join together to form blotchy patches. They're not usually itchy.

Measles Rash

The rash looks brown or red on white skin. It may be harder to see on brown and black skin.

example of rash on brown or black skin

example of rash on brown or black skin

If you’ve been in contact with someone with measles in the last three weeks, and you become unwell with the above symptoms you should seek medical advice. If you need to attend hospital and have been in contact with measles in the last three weeks, please inform us as soon as possible: if attending hospital urgently, please inform the receptionist or clinical team as soon as you arrive; if you have a planned appointment, please inform your clinical team as soon as possible prior to attending.

Where can I get medical advice from?

You can call NHS 111 or your GP surgery for medical advice. It’s important that you call first rather than just turn up, as your doctor may want to make special arrangements for you to be seen.

Caring for someone with measles:

Measles usually starts to get better in about a week. In the meantime, it can help to:

  • Rest and drink plenty of fluids, such as water, to avoid dehydration
  • Take paracetamol or ibuprofen as directed
  • Cotton wool soaked in warm water used gently on the eyes can remove any crusts
  • use cotton wool soaked in warm water to gently remove any crusts from your or your child's eyes

How can I prevent measles?

1 in 5 children with measles will need to visit hospital, but the good news is that it is preventable.

Two doses of the MMR vaccine has been shown to give up to 99% effective life-long protection.

The safety of the vaccine has been constantly monitored, since it was introduced back in 1988, but if you have concerns you can visit the NHS website here:

How can I get myself or my child vaccinated?

Please contact your GP surgery to book an appointment for the MMR vaccine.

More information about measles is available on the NHS website