Publish date: 15 February 2024

Local health organisations are warning people to make sure their vaccinations are up to date and be alert for measles after we are now starting to see clusters of confirmed measles cases in the region.

Data published today by the UK Health Security Agency shows 24 cases of measles have been reported in the North West between 1 October 2023 and 13 February 2024. This is an increase of 14 cases on data published last week. The majority of cases are in Greater Manchester.  

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is working with partners in local authority public health teams and the NHS to monitor the situation, provide advice and support local communities to be aware of action they can take to protect themselves, including getting vaccinated.

Find out more about the MMR vaccine on the NHS website.

Symptoms of measles appear 7-10 days after contact with the virus and include:

  • cold-like symptoms such as runny or blocked nose, sneezing and cough
  • red, sore, watery eyes
  • high temperature (fever), which may reach around 40OC / 104OF
  • a non-itchy, red-brown rash usually appears 3-5 days later (sometimes starts around the ears before spreading to rest of the body), spots may be raised and join to form blotchy patches – which may be harder to see on darker skin tones
  • small white spots may appear inside cheeks and the back of lips (for a few days)

More information about the symptoms can be found here: Measles - NHS (

Measles spreads very easily among those who are unvaccinated, especially in nurseries and schools. People in certain groups, including babies, pregnant women, and people with weakened immunity, are at increased risk of complications from measles.

If you or a family member develops any symptoms of measles contact your GP by phone. Please do not go to your GP, walk-in centre or any other healthcare setting without calling ahead, as measles is very infectious.

Dr Matthieu Pegorie, Consultant in Health Protection for UKHSA North West, said: “Measles can be a serious infection that can lead to complications especially in young children and those with weakened immune systems.

“MMR vaccine coverage has been falling for the last decade with 1 out of 10 children starting school in England not protected and so there is a real risk that this outbreak could spread more widely across the North West.

“Parents should be aware that measles is a nasty illness for most children and sadly, for some, can be very serious and life changing, but it is completely preventable. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your children. I strongly urge parents to take up the offer as soon as possible and protect their child now.

“It is also important to be aware of what symptoms to look out for, as the measles virus is highly infectious."