A zoom-in of measles particles

Steep rise in measles prompts new RCGP e-learning

Published on 21 December 2023

The College has published a new eLearning module focused on measles in response to a steep rise in reported cases in England

Free to access via your RCGP account, the 45-minute course covers a variety of measles-associated issues, including how to advise parents on the benefits of MMR vaccinations, how to differentiate measles from other childhood rashes, and how to streamline working with your local health protection team.

It combines an online assessment with two podcasts looking at the resurgence of measles in the UK and earns a minimum of 0.75 CPD credits upon completion. GPs are encouraged to reflect on any impacts the module may have in their practices as part of the learning process.

Previous College resources to support members with measles diagnosis and management have included a five-minute screencast on measles, mumps and rubella and the anti-vaccination movement. We commissioned the new e-learning after the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) started reporting a marked rise in confirmed cases from August this year.

RCGP Vice Chair for Professional Development Dr Margaret Ikpoh said: “It was a testament to the hard work of GPs when the World Health Organisation declared that measles had been eradicated in the UK, back in 2017. Sadly, since then our rates of vaccination have slipped and now we're seeing its unwelcome comeback.

“The College has delivered the new e-learning module at top speed to help our members and practice teams easily identify and treat what can be a dangerous infection, especially for children and the elderly. Complications from measles can result in hospitalisation due to infection of the lungs and the brain and, in some cases, death.  Even having uncomplicated measles can be very unpleasant, with high temperatures, cough and a rash.

“We also call on practice teams to urge parents, carers and guardians of all eligible age children (under 5s) not to delay in making sure their MMR vaccinations are up-to-date.”