Cases of measles are rising in Greater Manchester

23 February 2024

The number of people catching measles is rising in Greater Manchester.

Measles is a very infectious disease – just a cough or sneeze can spread the virus to other people. It spreads easily and quickly among those who are not vaccinated, especially in nurseries and schools.

Measles can also be very dangerous. Some people get very sick from measles and can develop pneumonia and meningitis. One in five people with measles will go to hospital and in very rare cases people can die from the disease.

People in certain at-risk groups including babies and young children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immunity, are at increased risk of complications from measles.

If you think you or your child may have measles, stay at home and phone your GP or NHS 111 for advice.

Stay away from GP surgeries, A&E departments and other health care venues.

Signs and symptoms

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.

Symptoms of measles appear 7-10 days after contact with the virus and include:

  • cold-like symptoms such as runny or blocked nose, sneezing and cough
  • sore, red watery eyes
  • high temperature (fever), which may reach around 40OC / 104OF
  • a non-itchy, red-brown rash usually appears 3-5 days later (it sometimes starts around the ears before spreading to rest of the body) spots may be raised and join to form blotchy patches – which may be harder to see on darker skin tones
  • small white spots may appear inside cheeks and the back of lips (for a few days)

People with measles should stay off nursery, school or work for at least four days from when the rash first appears.

It’s never too late to be vaccinated. You need two doses of the MMR vaccine to be fully protected against measles, mumps and rubella.

The NHS website has lots more helpful information about how to spot measles, what symptoms you should look out for, and what to do if you think you or someone you know has caught it. Measles - NHS (

Measles poster.jpg


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