Preventing, identifying and managing measles outbreaks

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Key points

Measles is a highly contagious viral illness and it can be fatal

Key points

22,373 measles cases were reported in the European region in 2017

Key points

The measles, mumps and rubella vaccination is effective in preventing measles infection

Key points

95% uptake of the vaccination is required to achieve herd immunity

Key points

Registered medical practitioners are legally required to notify suspected measles cases to the local health protection team

The number of cases of measles is rising across Europe and outbreaks have been reported in the UK. Nurses need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of the disease and the groups most at risk, including those who are partially vaccinated or unvaccinated. This article summarises the signs and symptoms of measles, at-risk groups and how the disease can be prevented. It explains the process of notification and provides sources of further information about this highly infectious condition.


Smith K (2018) Preventing, identifying and managing measles outbreaks. Nursing Times; 114: 10, 18-19.

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