UK Music festivals hotbed for measles

Music festivals have always been places to pick up various ailments, alcohol poisoning, food poisoning, and possibly the odd STI, but there is now been an outbreak of measles at a lot of UK festivals.

Public Health England has said that music festivals this summer have become somewhat of a hotbed for measles this year.

They have signalled a “significant number” of cases of people picking up the disease while enjoying their favourite music with thousands of other party go-ers.

There were almost forty cases reported in June and July and it is assumed more people will come forward as more people attend festivals until the end of September, when the season comes to an end. It is also thought many people won’t realise they picked it up from the festival, but might report it now they have seen the statistics from Public Health England.

The health body has called for people to be vaccinated before they set off to their chosen music event, to ensure they do not fall ill from the illness.

It is a very highly infectious disease which gives you cold-like symptoms and a very noticeable rash. Standing next to thousands of other people means it is easy to pick up the infection at a festival if you have not been inoculated against it.

Public Health England said festivals are the “ideal place” for the infection to be passed from one person to another.

The cases were linked to:

  • Glastonbury festival: 16 cases
  • NASS festival: Seven cases
  • Triplicity Music and Arts Festival: Six cases
  • Tewkesbury Medieval Festival: Three cases
  • Nozstock: The Hidden Valley: Two cases
  • Noisily Festival: Two cases
  • Secret Garden Party festival: One case
  • Yeovil Show: One case

Dr Mary Ramsay from Public Health England said: “Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can be very unpleasant and sometimes lead to serious complications.

“So, if you think you might have measles, please don’t go to any of these big events.”

The festival outbreaks come as the measles virus is spreading more readily in England. Most of the festival-related cases were in people who had not been vaccinated. A discredited link between MMR and autism, led to vaccination rates falling to 80% by 2005, and caused a national hysteria. However vaccinations are now back at record levels.

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