PARENTS have been advised to ensure their children are fully vaccinated against measles as a number of cases were confirmed in Scotland.
Small outbreaks of the highly infectious disease have been identified in Fife and Ayrshire, although the total number of cases is fewer than 15.
Health boards are encouraging people to be aware of the symptoms and to check that children are immunised with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
NHS Ayrshire and Arran said it has investigated five cases of measles in the past three weeks. The cases are all linked but “no known connection” to recent outbreaks in Wales and England has been found.
The health board said: “We have contacted the families and close contacts of the cases and offered advice and MMR vaccination or immunoglobulin as required. Uptake of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is high in Ayrshire, reducing the chance of measles spreading.
“In line with our usual advice, we would encourage parents and carers of children in Ayrshire who have not been fully vaccinated to contact their GP to arrange this.”
Dr Carol Davidson, executive director of public health, said: “It is extremely important that if anyone develops any symptoms, they should telephone their GP or NHS24 in the first instance. They should not risk spreading the infection by going in person to accident and emergency or their GP practice.”
NHS Fife is investigating fewer than ten suspected and confirmed cases of measles.
Dr Charles Saunders, consultant in public health medicine, said: “MMR is a safe and effective vaccine. We are working to identify individuals who would benefit from this vaccination on the back of a number of suspected and confirmed measles cases.
“However, we would encourage all young people who have not had two doses of MMR to seek immunisation from their GP.”