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Crowd alarm issued after ferry sailing

PASSENGERS on a NorthLink ferry sailing from Aberdeen to Lerwick earlier this month have been contacted by the NHS amid concerns that they may have come in contact with someone who was later diagnosed with measles.

The public health alert was issued by the NHS Grampian following the boat trip leaving Aberdeen on the evening of 7 October.

In a joint statement, NHS Grampian and NHS Shetland confirmed that the two health boards worked with partners to investigate a single case of measles in an adult from Perth and Kinross, with links to Aberdeen and Shetland.

The National Board of Health has advised passengers on the boat that evening to be "aware of the symptoms and signs of measles and the measures to take if you become ill".

The NHS says that measles is a highly infectious viral disease that can be very unpleasant and sometimes lead to serious complications, although the effectiveness of the vaccination has reduced its prevalence in the UK. [19659003] Symptoms include fever, drowsiness, a runny nose, conjunctivitis, a cough and a red, spotted rash that begins in the head and spreads across the chest and legs.

People with measles are contagious for about five days before the rash appears and until about four days after it appears.

Passengers are informed that if they develop symptoms they would call their GP to avoid sitting in a waiting room.

People who were on the boat considered to be at greater risk of measles have been urged to contact healthcare services as soon as possible as they may require immediate treatment.

Vulnerable groups include pregnant women, children under 12 months, and people who have weakened the immune system due to illness or treatment such as chemotherapy or steroids.

Doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines are usually given after a child's first birthday and even before school age.

NHS Grampian said that people are already vaccinated with it, it is unlikely that two doses need further action unless they develop symptoms.

Passengers were also informed that if they are unsure if they have completed two doses of the MMR vaccine they would contact their real estate practice to find out.

In 2016, the World Health Organization declared that the United Kingdom was measles-free, but the country lost this status earlier this year following an increase in cases.

In a joint statement, NHS Grampian and NHS Shetland said: "Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that causes a variety of symptoms including fever, cough and distinct reddish-brown spots.

“The infection spreads easily and you can catch measles through direct contact with an infected person, or through the air when they cough or sneeze.

"Measles is most common among young children, but anyone who is not fully immunized can catch it.

" The safest and most effective way to prevent measles is measles-mumps rubella (MMR) vaccine ine. Two doses of MMR vaccine are required to ensure full protection.

"We would encourage everyone to make sure their vaccinations are up to date. It is never too late to be vaccinated. You can check your real estate practice to find out which vaccinations you may be eligible for. ”

More information about measles can be found on the NHS Inform website.

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