Our monthly column on the local community’s health and wellbeing is brought to you by Dr Vindi Bhandal, senior partner at Sleaford Medical Group, this time writing about vaccinations ready for European holidays...
Summer holidays are here and with many of us planning travel to Europe for sun and sea, I would like to highlight the need for parents to ensure that children are up to date with their vaccinations – especially the MMR vaccination.
The MMR is given at 12 months of age, with a second dose given before school. It can be offered to babies from six months if the family are travelling to countries where measles is common, or during an outbreak.
News reports have highlighted that there are continuing outbreaks of measles across Europe.
Public Health England have published data that shows that measles cases have been on the increase since 2018, with 231 confirmed measles cases in England in the first quarter of 2019.
Young adults who missed out on the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine when they were children are particularly at risk.
Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can lead to serious complications.
It is now uncommon in the UK, because of the effectiveness of the MMR vaccination programme.
The illness usually presents with cold-like symptoms, with a high temperature followed by a red, brown blotchy rash a few days later.
It usually resolves in 7-10 days and is usually mild in children, but can be more severe in adults.
Measles can kill and is incredibly easy to catch, especially if you are not vaccinated.
The disease is still very common in several European countries. So if you are holidaying in Europe this summer and you are not sure about your or your children’s vaccination status, you can check with your GP.
Check the travel advice before going on holiday and check vaccinations are up to date and catch up on missed vaccinations.
Ask your GP for advice before you travel.