WARWICKSHIRE County Council is reassuring residents about measles after the recent outbreak in Wales.

Cases in the Swansea measles epidemic has now reached 765 and there have been warnings it could continue to rise for weeks.

But Helen King, deputy director of public health Warwickshire, is reassuring residents that at present there is no outbreak in the county.

“Whilst there is currently no outbreak here in Warwickshire, the recent issue in Wales shows that we cannot be complacent,” she said.

“Measles cannot be taken lightly because you can never tell who will go on to develop the more serious complications which can include pneumonia and encephalitis [inflammation of the brain]. “The only way to prevent these complications is to have the MMR vaccination. Usually children are immunised at around 13 months old.

“However, if you are under 18 and have still not been vaccinated against the disease, then now is the time to contact your GP to arrange to have a simple jab which could literally save your life and stop you infecting others.”

While the number of cases is Warwickshire is currently low, nationally, the number of cases has been increasing.

In 2012, there were 2,016 confirmed cases of measles in England and Wales reported to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), which is the highest annual total since 1994.

Symptoms include cold-like symptoms, red eyes and sensitivity to light, fever and greyish white spots in the mouth and throat.

After a few days a red-brown spotty rash will appear which usually starts behind the ears and then spreads around the head and neck before spreading to the legs and the rest of the body.

For details about measles and the MMR vaccine visit hpa.org.uk or nhs.uk/conditions/Measles.