Public Health England (PHE) has updated its National measles guidelines.

Of all diseases transmitted through the respiratory route, measles is the most infectious. Measles is best controlled through high uptake of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Recent uptake of MMR in England has been high, but still below the World Health Organization target of 95% or over.

As the incidence of measles declines, the likelihood of a case emerging also decreases. This makes identifying suspected cases of measles even more important, as well as screening whether the case is endemic or imported. Originally released in October 2010 and updated in August 2017, the PHE National measles guidelines are designed to guide health professionals in deciding whether a diagnosis of measles is likely, managing cases, and controlling the potential spread of infection.

A wide range of areas are covered by the guidelines, including:

  • clinical and epidemiological features of measles, and definitions
  • surveillance of measles
  • laboratory investigation
  • management and assessment of measles patients and others who may have been exposed
  • specific settings and situations (including primary care settings and outbreaks)
  • differential diagnoses.