With festival season and tramlines just around the corner Sheffield City Council are asking festival goers to make sure they have had their measles jab.
The ask comes after concerns have been raised by Public Health England about an increase in measles cases across England, particularly in young people over the age of 15 years.
In 2016 there were 52 measles cases linked to music and arts festivals in England and Wales. Nearly half of these cases were in young people aged 15 to 19 years and several individuals who acquired measles at one festival subsequently attended another festival while infectious, resulting in multiple linked outbreaks.
Greg Fell, Director of Public Health at Sheffield City Council said: “Young people are more at risk of contracting measles when they are mixing in close environments, such as festivals.
“Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can lead to serious complications and sometimes death.
“Many 15-25 year olds may have missed out on the MMR vaccine when they were younger. It is important that if you are attending a festival this summer that you check with your GP that you have had two doses of the MMR vaccine.”
Measles symptoms to be aware of include:
- high fever
- sore, red, watery eyes
- aching and feeling generally unwell
- blotchy red rash
Councillor Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for children and young people at Sheffield City Council said: “Sheffield enjoys one of the very best festival calendars in the country and we want to make sure everyone is able to enjoy them to the full this summer. Please make sure you check your vaccines are up to date – and have a great time!”
If you are attending a festival this summer, our drugs and alcohol team advise:
- There is no safe way to take drugs: the safest option is not to take them at all. However if you intend to use drugs, see http://www.drugwise.org.uk/harm-reduction-2/ for safety advice.
- If you’re intending to drink alcohol: drink in moderation, alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks, choose lower strength options, and stay with your friends.