Measles warning as outbreak of illness that can cause rashes or even death confirmed in the UK

Man with rash

Measles can affect anyone

Sarra Gray

By Sarra Gray

Published: 02/11/2023

- 10:31

Updated: 23/01/2024

- 16:21

Britons are urged to be careful following an outbreak of measles across the country

Cases of measles have risen in parts of the UK.

Measles are most common in children but can affect people of any age.

Seven children in Cardiff have recently contracted measles and the health board confirmed an outbreak.

Consultant in health protection for Public Health Wales Sion Lingard said: “Links have been found between all seven cases so while there is currently no evidence of wider community transmission, measles is an extremely contagious infection and we are concerned that people who are not protected by vaccination could be at risk.

There has been a rise in measles cases this year 

"It can be expected that more cases may be identified over the coming weeks.

“Measles is highly infectious and the only way to prevent outbreaks is through vaccination.

"We urge parents whose children have not received two doses of MMR as offered to ensure that they speak to their GP surgery to arrange this quick, safe and effective vaccine. If children are not yet old enough to receive their second dose, they don’t need to have this earlier than scheduled.”

A warning was shared by NHS England as children are at risk during school term time.

It said: "In July this year the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) announced that there was a high risk of measles in London, with a prediction of up to 160,000 cases in the capital alone.

"With some areas of London reporting as many as 40 per cent of children unvaccinated, the risk of spread is much higher than elsewhere in the country.

"Every region in England has reported confirmed cases of the infectious disease and cases to date are over double that of the whole of last year."

During the summer, Scotland shared it had introduced measures to avert the rise of the illness.

The first signs of measles are often cold-like symptoms such as sneezing, a cough, a runny nose or high temperature. Small white spots may also appear inside the cheeks and the back of the lips.

A rash is also likely which can include spots that are raised or joined together.

Measles rash

A rash can appear with small lumps


Measles is incredibly contagious and can be deadly in extreme cases, Healthline reports. It can also cause other health complications.

NHS states: "Measles can lead to serious problems if it spreads to other parts of the body, such as the lungs or brain. Problems that can be caused by measles include pneumonia, meningitis, blindness, seizures (fits).

"These problems are rare, but some people are more at risk. This includes babies and people with weakened immune systems."

Normally, measles will get better within a week. Those who think they might have it should see a doctor.

They can also help to ease symptoms with rest, plenty of fluid and taking paracetamol or ibuprofen.

This comes as doctors issued a warning amid a diarrhoea outbreak.

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