Measles warning as cases rise in south east

HEALTH bosses in East Sussex are warning residents to be alert to the symptoms of measles and what to do if they spot them.

The warning follows a number of confirmed cases in the south east and concerns about the potential risk to people living and working in the county.

Measles is an extremely infectious virus and can spread through coughs and sneezes, or touch.  It can result in severe symptoms, complications and even cause death.  Symptoms include;

  • A high temperature
  • A runny or blocked nose
  • Sneezing
  • A cough
  • Red, sore, watery eyes
  • Small white dots in the mouth
  • A rash shortly after first symptoms appear

The rash usually starts on the face and behind the ears 2-4 days after the cold symptoms, and then spreads over the body. The rash might be raised, and join to form patches, but is not normally itchy. It looks brown or red on white skin but may be harder to see on brown or black skin.

Anyone experiencing symptoms should stay at home and urgently call their GP or NHS 111.  To avoid passing on the infection, people should not go to their doctor’s surgery or hospital unless a healthcare professional has asked them to.

Darrell Gale, Director of Public Health in East Sussex, said: “We usually think of measles as a virus affecting children, but the majority of the cases in the south east have been confirmed in adults and we should all be alert to the symptoms.

“The virus spreads very easily – in fact, you only need to be in a room with someone with measles for 15 minutes to become infected. While some people experience none or mild symptoms, it can be extremely dangerous to others.”

People diagnosed with measles should stay away from work or school for four full days after the rash appears and stay away from babies and people who are pregnant or have a weakened immune system.

For more information about measles, the symptoms and how to protect yourself, visit