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The islands have been given the all-clear for measles for now, NHS Western Isles has announced.

Thanking the public for its response to the measles alert locally, NHS Western Isles confirmed a negative result this time.

“However, the risk remains valid given that cases of measles are on the rise in Europe and parts of the UK, including Scotland,” they warn.

“We would still urge everyone to ensure they have had two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Having two doses of the MMR vaccine gives you the best chance to be fully protected from measles.”

People unsure about their measles vaccine status are asked to contact their GP to check.

Appointments for vaccination can be made by calling 01851 708028 (9 am to 5 pm; answering machine message can be left outwith office hours) or emailing email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and leaving your name and contact details.

An NHS Western Isles spokesperson said: “There remains a risk of infection for those who have not been fully vaccinated with the MMR vaccine. Measles is one of the most infectious diseases; it is spread by tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when an infected person coughs or sneezes.”

Further information about measles can be obtained here.

Meanwhile, Public Health Scotland says it is aware of five cases of laboratory confirmed measles in Scotland since October 2023, all of which have been linked to travel. The latest two cases were confirmed yesterday  (Friday 16 February).

PHS is encouraging the public to take up the offer of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. Having two doses of the MMR vaccine is the best way to be fully protected against measles.

Uptake of MMR has declined across all UK nations in recent years and there remains a risk of infection in those who are not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated for their age. 

The MMR vaccine protects against measles with the first dose offered to children between 12-13 months, and the second dose offered at 3 years 4 months. If it’s missed at these times, it can be given at any age.  

Health care workers should also have two doses of MMR and are advised to speak to with their employer or occupational health department if they haven't been fully vaccinated.  

Further information on measles and the MMR vaccine can be found on at: www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/mmr-against-measles

Dr Nick Phin, Director of Public Health Science, PHS said: “The appropriate health protection measures are being taken across health boards to ensure close contacts of confirmed measles cases are informed and advised on what to do if symptoms develop.  They could be offered the MMR vaccine if not fully vaccinated or post exposure protection if considered appropriate.

“As measles cases continue to increase across other parts of the UK and Europe, we’re working with health boards to ensure that as many people as possible are fully vaccinated with the MMR vaccine. Some health boards are working to identify those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated (have only received one dose of the MMR vaccine) and running vaccination clinics to offer second doses, or full courses as needed. Two doses are needed to give full protection.

“Given the current links to travel, we would also encourage those who are planning to travel anytime soon to ensure you and your children are up to date with all your vaccinations before leaving the country.”

Further information on measles and how to check you / your child is fully protected can be found on  MMR against measles | NHS inform.