Measles cases increased a huge 400 per cent in Europe last year – there were more than 21,000 cases and 35 deaths in 2017.
The figures come from the latest World Health Organisation report, who also revealed that in stark contrast, 2016 saw a record low with just 5,273 cases in Europe.
Appearing on This Morning, Dr Chris stressed the importance of measles vaccinations – particularly if families are looking to travel to Europe.
He said: “Get children vaccinated before they get to Europe.
“Measles is one of the most infectious diseases known to man.”
So how can you get vaccinated against measles?
Measles can be avoided with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
The MMR vaccine is given as part of the routine NHS childhood vaccination programme.
The healthy body says: “One dose is usually given to a child when they’re 12 to 13 months old and a second dose is given before they start school, usually between three and five years old.
“Contact your GP if you are uncertain about whether your child’s vaccinations are up-to-date.
“You or your child can be vaccinated at any point if you haven’t been fully vaccinated before. If you’re not sure whether you were vaccinated in the past, having the vaccine again won’t cause any harm.”
How can you spot measles?
The NHS lists the following four symptoms as early signs:
- Cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing and a cough
- Sore, red eyes that may be sensitive to light
- A high temperature (fever), which may reach around 40C (104F)
- Small greyish-white spots not he inside of the cheeks
A few days later, a red-brown blotchy rash will appear.
This usually starts on the head or upper neck, before spreading outwards to the rest of the body.
When should you see your GP if you have measles?
What is the best treatment for the rash?