Measles - information to help you stay well

There’s been an increase in reports of measles in the UK – find out how to protect yourself and learn what symptoms to look out for.

Find a GP and register with them as early as possible - don't wait until you fall unwell!

What is measles?

Measles is an infection with cold-like symptoms and a rash, which spreads very easily and can cause serious problems in some people if they are not vaccinated, or have weakened immunity, or are pregnant.

We’re talking about it now as there has been an increase in cases in the UK recently. We want you to be aware, and make sure you’re protected through the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine, which protects you against three serious illnesses. Getting the vaccine from your GP is free, or covered by the health care charge some international students and staff have already paid.  

> Register with a GP who can help you get vaccinated or support you if you're unwell

What are the symptoms of 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.

The first symptoms of measles include:

  • a high temperature
  • a runny or blocked nose
  • sneezing
  • a cough
  • red, sore, watery eyes
  • A rash usually appears a few days after the cold-like symptoms.

If you develop these symptoms, please contact your GP or the NHS (the UK’s National Health Service).

How do I protect myself and others?

Ensuring you are fully vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, others, and limit the spread of this infectious illness. 

Most people already have immunity to measles through the MMR vaccine or exposure to the illness as a child. If you have had both doses of MMR vaccine, or had measles earlier in your life, you do not need to worry.

If you haven’t been vaccinated, or have had only one dose of MMR vaccine, you can get vaccinated to ensure you are protected and to minimise the risk of spreading the infection to others. No one has to pay for an MMR vaccine via a GP – it’s free, or covered by the health care charge some international students and staff have already paid.  

How do I register with a GP? Support if you're unwell and information about getting vaccinated

It's important to make sure you're registered with a General Practitioner (GP) who can help you if you're unwell, prescribe medication, and talk to you about vaccinations. 

Even if you're well and healthy, now is a good time to register, so that you can get help if you need it. 

For many students, the most convenient place to register is the on-campus GP, St Philips Medical Centre. However, you may want to find a more convenient local GP near your accommodation in London.

> Did you know LSE has a GP on campus? Register with St Philips Medical Centre

How do I know if I’ve had the MMR vaccine?

The best thing to do if you’re not sure of your vaccination status is to ask your parents or guardian. Most of you will have had the MMR vaccine when you were very small children. You can also contact your GP who will have a record of all your vaccinations.

How do I get the MMR vaccine?

Once registered, speak to your General Practitioner (GP) about getting vaccinated, if you’re not already. This is provided at no cost to you, on the NHS. 

Where can I get more information?

More information about measles and the MMR vaccine is available on the NHS website.

Updated February 2024

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