Health warning over spread of measles at UK festivals

A picture of mud-covered music fans at Glastonbury festival 2016
Festivals are the \"ideal place\" for measles to spread (Image credit: Getty)

A health body is warning music fans that festivals can be a breeding ground for the potentially deadly measles infection.

Public Health England says a “significant number” of cases have been linked to UK festivals, with 36 cases reported in June and July of this year.

Glastonbury was the worst hit, with 16 people contracting the highly contagious viral infection at the festival.

Public Health England says festival sites are the “ideal place” for the infection to spread.

Dr Mary Ramsay says: “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.”

Most of the measles cases linked to festival sites were in people who had not been vaccinated. The MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) immunisation was at the centre of now discredited claims of a link between MMR and autism, resulting in a rise in cases in 2013.

Measles causes a rash and cold-like symptoms for most people, but it can be deadly. Symptoms include a high temperature, sore, red eyes sensitive to light, small grey-white spots on the inside of the cheeks and a red-brown blotchy rash.

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Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.