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Measles cases are on the rise - what to do if you think you or your child has measles


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 centres, either as a patient or visitor without calling ahead first.

If you or your child require emergency care, please ring NHS 111 before going to any of our emergency departments.

Signs and symptoms of measles

Measles 2024 1

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.

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

The rash looks brown or red on white skin.

Measles Rash Chest

It may be harder to see on brown and 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


'I am writing to congratulate you on your wonderful staff you have working for you at DMH.'

Patient, Catering / Porters / Domestics, Darlington Memorial Hospital