13th December 2019
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Second measles case confirmed on NorthLink ferry

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A second warning over measles has been issued to passengers who sailed on the NorthLink ferry on three dates earlier this month after a second case was confirmed.

The “warn and inform” message has been dispatched to all those who travelled on:

• The northbound sailing on 19th October.
• The southbound sailing on 20th October.
• The northbound sailing on 21st October.

All crew members who travelled on the above date dates have been notified.

NHS Shetland says it is working with other relevant authorities, including Health Protection Scotland, to ensure all control measures are in place to prevent further spread of the disease.

The board’s public health team, led by public health principal Elizabeth Robinson, said the only way to prevent against measles was to have the measles
vaccination – two doses of MMR or a measles containing vaccine.

She said measles was a “highly infectious” disease, and it was possible that subsequent cases of measles could arise in susceptible passengers who have not been vaccinated.

Passengers who travelled on the ferry are being asked to contact their GPs or public health teams in their areas by phone if they develop fever of 38°C or higher,
as well as a generalised rash and either a cough, snotty nose and/or conjuctivitis.

Ms Robinson said an immediate programme of vaccination had already begun in the isles for all children, women of child-bearing age, healthcare workers, social
care workers and other young adults who have not had two doses of MMR vaccines or a measles containing vaccine.

“We are aware that there may be increased demand for the MMR vaccine over the next few weeks and we are working on ensuring that sufficient stocks can be made
available as soon as possible.”

This month NHS Grampian and NorthLink Ferries warned passengers to be wary of measles symptoms after a passenger was found to have had the illness.

Earlier this year a report highlighted the risk of children contracting measles, with a lower than desired uptake of the MMR vaccine being recorded in the isles.

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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