Edinburgh Measles Cases Rise

11 October 2016, 13:00 | Updated: 11 October 2016, 13:03

A university is working closely with health officials to minimise the spread of measles after eight cases were confirmed in the area in the past two weeks.

NHS Lothian said the majority of the cases have links to the University of Edinburgh.

The health board is getting in touch with people who have been in contact with the confirmed cases and is setting up clinics for those requiring a measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness with a higher risk of serious complications for pregnant women, young children and those who are immuno-suppressed

The health board said the MMR vaccination is the most effective way to protect people from measles.

It is routinely given to children aged 12 to 15 months, with a booster at three to five years.

A University of Edinburgh spokeswoman said: "The university is working closely with NHS Lothian to minimise the spread. We are taking appropriate action, including supporting additional vaccinations on campus for those who need them.

"Students and staff who have had the MMR vaccination or who have had measles before are reminded that they are not at risk. We will continue to monitor the situation.''

Measles symptoms can take up to two weeks to develop and include a runny nose, cough, conjunctivitis and fever followed by a rash.

Professor Alison McCallum, director of public health and health policy at NHS Lothian, said: "It is crucial that people have two doses of the MMR vaccine.

"Children and young people may have missed out on one or two doses when they were younger and we would urge parents to get their child or children immunised with MMR.

"We would also encourage young people who have missed out on MMR previously to get themselves immunised.''

Health officials said anyone who develops signs of the illness should limit their contact with other people, and call their GP - or NHS 24 on 111 if it is out of hours.