Information For Patients

What are measles, mumps and rubella?

Measles, mumps and rubella are highly infectious diseases caused by viruses. They are spread by close contact with an infected person 
Measles causes fever, cough, red and painful eyes, and a rash.
Of the people who get measles:

• 1 or 2 in 1000 will die;
• 1 in 20 will get an ear infection;
• 1 in 25 will get pneumonia or bronchitis;
• 1 in 200 will have convulsions (fits);
• 1 in 6 will get diarrhoea;
• 1 in 1000 will develop encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)
• For every 10 children who develop encephalitis, 1 will die and up to 4 will have brain damage;
• 1 in 6000 will get a blood-clotting problem;
• 1 in 8000 children, who get measles under the age of two, get sub-acute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), a degenerative condition of the nervous system, which is always fatal. SSPE can occur many years after a child gets measles.
Mumps causes swollen neck glands and a fever.
Of the people who get mumps:

• 1 in 3 will get fever, headache, and swollen salivary glands under the jaw;
• 4 in 10 men who have mumps will get swollen testicles;
• 1 in 20 will get viral meningitis;
• 1 in 100 0 will get encephalitis (brain inflammation);
• 1 in 20,000 may become deaf;
• Infertility in men can rarely occur.
Rubella causes a rash, fever and swollen glands. If a pregnant woman gets rubella in early pregnancy it may cause major birth defects in the baby.
Of the people who get rubella:

• About 1 in 2 will get a rash and painful swollen glands; and more than half of women with rubella get painful joints.
• 1 in 3000 get thrombocytopenia (bruising or bleeding of the skin);
• 1 in 6000 get encephalitis (inflammation of the brain);
• If a pregnant woman gets rubella in early pregnancy 9 in 10 babies will have a major birth defect, such as deafness, blindness, brain damage or heart defects.
If you have any queries/concerns please contact our Practice Nurse to discuss.


What is the MMR vaccine?
The MMR vaccine protects your child against measles, mumps and rubella (German measles). The vaccine works by stimulating the immune system to build up protection against these diseases.It is a live vaccine which means it contains weakened forms of the measles, mumps and rubella viruses.
Who should get the MMR vaccine?
The MMR vaccine is given to babies at 12 months of age. Children should get a second dose at 4-5 years of age. Two doses of MMR give your child the best protection. Some children may have missed their second dose of the MMR vaccine and this has given rise to outbreaks of mumps and measles recently. Older children should complete a full course of MMR as soon as possible.
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