Protection against Measles is provided through a combination vaccine (MMR). UK independent expert advice is that two doses of MMR are required to ensure adequate provision – both for the individual and the population generally.
Cases of measles in universities mainly result because some students missed MMR totally because they were too old when the vaccine was introduced for children or because only one dose was received. If you are aged between 18 and 25, check with your GP to see if you have had 2 doses of MMR vaccine, and follow your GP’s advice.
The most effective way of preventing measles is the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine.
Should you be concerned about catching measles?
Measles is an infectious viral illness. It causes a range of symptoms including fever, coughing and distinctive red-brown spots on the skin.
The measles virus is contained in the millions of droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
You can catch measles by breathing in these droplets or, if the droplets have settled on a surface, by touching the surface and then placing your hands near your nose or mouth.
Measles and pregnancy
If you are planning to get pregnant and you have not had measles, arrange with your GP to have the MMR vaccine. If you catch measles during pregnancy, it can be passed on to your baby, which can be very damaging or even fatal to your baby. Measles in pregnancy can cause miscarriage, premature labour or a baby with low birth weight. The MMR vaccine can not be given during pregnancy.
What should you do if you have been in close contact with someone who is infected with measles?
At the first signs of being unwell contact your GP.
What should you do if you think you have measles?
• Make an appointment with your GP. Remember to inform the receptionist, when you telephone, you think that you may have measles.
• Avoid communal areas and close contact with other students.
• Arrange to stay in your accommodation or go home until the infectious period has passed (your doctor will advise you, but this will be at least 7 days or until XXXXXXXX) Please note that Departments/Schools may have specific recommendations with regard to increased periods of absence, following risk assessments made within their area.
• If you are staying in University accommodation let people at home know what is going on and tell the warden that you are unwell. Make arrangements for friends to shop for you.
• Contact your personal tutor and let him/her know what is going on. You can provide a self-certification (for absences) to cover the first 7 days but you will need a certificate from a doctor if you illness exceeds this period, or your period of sickness results in you being unable to attend any examination. Certificates can be obtained from your GP.
• Remember that as a student of Cardiff University you are required to take reasonable care for your own health and that of others and you should, therefore, take every reasonable precaution to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
• Measles is a notifiable disease and it is an offence to knowingly be infected and put others at risk