NHS Lothian is pleased to report that over a thousand people were vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), following the recent measles outbreak in Lothian.
The outbreak, which was concentrated mainly around the University of Edinburgh, started in October and now been officially declared over. There were 18 confirmed cases in total during the outbreak.
To reduce the spread of measles, NHS Lothian put in place key control measures. These included prompt identification and follow up, isolation of cases and contacts, and setting up vaccination clinics, including during evenings and weekends.
The MMR vaccination clinics were run on University of Edinburgh sites, in a local school, and on hospital sites. Uptake at these clinics was very positive, with 1003 people vaccinated across the capital during the outbreak.
Dr Richard Othieno, Consultant in Public Health Medicine and Chair of the Incident Management Team, NHS Lothian, said: “After a long monitoring period of two incubation periods (42 days), we can now declare the measles outbreak over.
“The NHS Lothian Incident Management Team deserves credit for their part in minimising the spread of this potentially serious illness, and we are delighted with the uptake of vaccinations at the drop-in clinics set up during the outbreak.
“We would like to thank NHS Lothian primary and secondary care staff and partner agencies involved in the management of the measles outbreak. We would also like to give a special thanks to the University of Edinburgh for their help in promoting the vaccination clinics, and their continued efforts to support us in minimising the spread of the virus.”
Vaccination is the most effective way for people to protect themselves against measles. Two doses of the MMR vaccine are required for effective immunity. The first dose of the vaccine is routinely given to children aged 12 to 13 months, and the second dose is normally given before school entry. However, the MMR vaccine can be given to individuals of any age.
Dr Othieno added: “Childhood immunisation uptake in Lothian is extremely high and the best way to protect yourself or your child against this illness is to ensure you are fully protected with two doses of the MMR vaccine. We are keen to ensure that anyone who has missed out has the opportunity to be vaccinated.”