There has been a recent rise of measles cases in Birmingham and the West Midlands. If you think you or your child may have measles, contact the practice but do not visit unless instructed, as measles can spread to others easily.

Measles is an infection that spreads very easily and can cause serious problems in some people. Having the MMR vaccine is the best way to prevent it.

Check if you or your child has measles

Measles usually starts with cold-like symptoms, followed by a rash a few days later. Some people may also get small spots in their mouth.

Cold-like symptoms

The first symptoms of measles include:

  • a high temperature
  • a runny or blocked nose
  • sneezing
  • a cough
  • red, sore, watery eyes

Spots in the mouth

A number of very small white spots inside a person’s mouth.

Small white spots may appear inside the cheeks and on the back of the lips a few days later. These spots usually last a few days.

The measles rash

A rash usually appears a few days after the cold-like symptoms.

The measles rash on a person with white skin. The person’s arms, chest and tummy are almost completely covered with red, blotchy patches.
The rash starts on the face and behind the ears before spreading to the rest of the body.
A close-up of the measles rash on someone with white skin, showing some raised red spots joined together to form blotchy patches.
The spots of the measles rash are sometimes raised and join together to form blotchy patches. They’re not usually itchy.
The measles rash on the forehead of a child with light brown skin. The rash looks like pale red blotchy patches.
The rash looks brown or red on white skin. It may be harder to see on brown and black skin.

It’s very unlikely to be measles if you’ve had both doses of the MMR vaccine or you’ve had measles before.

How to avoid spreading or catching measles

Measles is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. There are things you can do to reduce the risk of spreading or catching it.


  • wash your hands often with soap and warm water
  • use tissues when you cough or sneeze
  • throw used tissues in the bin


  • do not share cutlery, cups, towels, clothes, or bedding

Childhood immunisations

MMR vaccines should be given on schedule to babies and children, unless the Health Protection Team have specified otherwise. Therefore please do not try to book your child’s appointment before it is due. The current schedule is:

Child’s age 1 yearMMR (1st dose)
Child’s age 3 years and 4 monthsMMR (2nd dose)