There has been an increase in measles outbreaks across the UK and parts of Europe and here is what you need to know.

Measles is a highly infections viral illness that can be very unpleasant and lead to serious complications.

There have been more than 757 reported cases of measles reported across England since the beginning of 2018. This compares with 274 confirmed cases last year.

The rise is always a worry because it is now rare in the UK due to the vaccinations that we have in place.

It is most common in young children and usually lasts between seven and ten days, but it can be devastating.

Symptoms include:

Cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing, and a cough

Sore, red eyes that may be sensitive to light

A high temperature (fever), which may reach around 40C (104F)

Small greyish-white spots on the inside of the cheeks

A few days later, a red-brown blotchy rash will appear, which will then spread over the body.

If you suspect you or your child has measles then you should call your GP before visiting just to stop infecting others.

You shouldn’t get measles more than once because your body usually builds a resistance to the virus.

However, measles can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications in some people. These include infections of the lungs (pneumonia) and brain (encephalitis).

Measles can be prevented by having the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.