A TOP doctor has warned parents of the most dangerous measles symptoms to look out for in kids as global infections surge.
The world has seen a huge spike in cases this year, with the World Health Organisation confirming a “global measles epidemic” earlier in the month.
Child vaccination has dropped to just 85.5 per cent in the UK – despite being vital for keeping the viral illness at bay and saving lives.
According to Dr Stuart Sanders, of The London General Practice, this low rate of vaccination means Britain will begin to lose “herd immunity” against the dangerous childhood disease.
Speaking to the Express, he said there were five key symptoms to look out for to avoid “serious” infection.
These include a persistent or prolonged fever, rejection of food or water, severe respiratory symptoms and a deterioration in their clinical condition.
Signs of meningitis are also crucial to look out for – these include headaches, neck stiffness, vomiting and a dislike of bright light.
Dr Sanders warned if you spot any of these five serious symptoms, you should isolate the patient until their symptoms fade.
There are no cures – you can only treat the symptoms.
But anyone with the bug should ensure they drink plenty of fluids along with paracetamol at the proper intervals.
Dr Sanders said of the measles spike: “This is caused by the fall in the uptake of measles vaccination which started in the 1970s due to the spread of misinformation about the vaccine.
“Vaccination uptake further fell as a consequence of a fraudulent paper written by Professor Andrew Wakefield, published in the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet; the article was subsequently withdrawn but it caused immense damage to confidence in measles vaccination.”
He said this meant the level of vaccination uptake “fell below the critical level required to provide herd immunity” and in some countries, it has remained at “a suboptimal level”.
The medic added: “I have been a doctor long enough to remember pre-vaccination measles being an illness which in some cases led to prolonged ill health, with a number of children sadly dying.”
Earlier this month, the World Health Organisation warned that around 73 million people across the world who could get the MMR vaccine haven’t had it.
They said: “That’s meant that this year, in the first few months, there have been 17,000 cases of measles globally, whereas in the first two months of the previous years, it’s usually been lower – 10,000 or less.
“So yes, we’ve got a global measles epidemic, and that worries us because measles can be a very dangerous disease.”
The MMR jab, which protects children against measles, mumps and rubella, has been in use for five decades but has seen a recent fall in uptake with the rise of vaccine scepticism.
The first vaccination is usually given to one-year-old tots, with the second dished out at three years and four months.
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