Health officials have revealed that there has been a measles outbreak at a school in Chichester which has infected 15 students.

Vaccination clinics have been set up to try and curb the spread of the highly infectious viral illness, Public Health England said.

 

The children are all students at Chichester High School in West Sussex.

Health chiefs are urging those in the area to check if they have been properly vaccinated and received two shots of the MMR jab.

They are also encouraging all parents to be on high alert for the signs and symptoms of the disease.

Anyone who hasn’t had the two doses of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine is at risk, PHE warned.

Young people and children who come into close proximity with those infected are at most risk.

Earlier this month, it was revealed there were 440 laboratory-confirmed cases of measles in England between January 1st and May 9th.

The total is already higher than the figure for the whole of 2017, when there were 267 confirmed cases in England.

The cases are linked to “ongoing large outbreaks” of measles in Europe, PHE said.

Dr Sarah Lock, consultant in health protection with PHE South East, said: “It is important to be aware that it is never too late to have the vaccine.

“While the cases in Chichester are among children, it is important to remember that measles is not just a childhood illness, as proven by the number of recent cases among adults in other parts of Sussex and Surrey.

“So if you’ve not received two doses of the vaccine in the past or you’re unsure, speak to your GP.

“There’s no harm in receiving an additional dose where there is any uncertainty.”

Two catch-up clinics have been arranged at Chichester High School for children who have not been vaccinated or who have only received one MMR dose.

The vaccination can also be obtained at a local GP surgery.

Although the current outbreak is in Sussex there is always the risk of it spreading to other areas of the country so parents are urged to keep an eye out for any of the initial symptoms which include:

  • cold-like symptoms like runny nose, sneezing and a cough
  • sore, red eyes
  • fever
  • small grey-white spots on the inside of the cheeks
  • aches and pains

A few days later a red-brown, blotchy rash will appear, usually beginning on the head or upper neck before spreading

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