Fears that Slough could face a measles epidemic have followed an appeal by Public Health England (PHE) for families to ensure members get their two doses of MMR.

The MMR vaccine is the best protection against the disease and PHE is calling on parents to check their child's Red Book or contact their GP if in doubt as to whether they have had the vaccine done.

Cllr Natasa Pantelic, Slough Borough Council's cabinet member for health and wellbeing, has added her voice to the warnings, saying: “I am concerned that Slough has the lowest vaccination rates for the MMR in Berkshire, so the potential for measles to spread is higher than elsewhere. There were two confirmed cases in Berkshire just before Christmas – one in Bracknell and one in Wokingham. I urge residents to contact their GP for an appointment to get vaccinated, if they haven’t already had two doses of the MMR vaccine. If you are unsure about how many doses you’ve had, please contact your GP.”

Symptoms typically include a high fever, sore, red, watery eyes, coughing, aching and a a blotchy red brown rash, which usually appears two to four days after the initial symptoms.

If you suspect you or your child may have measles, you should contact a GP as soon as possible. It is best to phone before visiting as your GP surgery may need to make arrangements to reduce the risk of spreading the infection to others. If you think you could have measles, it is important to stay away from places where you could come into contact with lots of people – so do not go to work or school, visit hospital or attend social gatherings until at least four days after the onset of the rash.

For more information on measles visit NHS Choices: nhs.uk/conditions/measles/