Measles in the community

King’s College Hospital and Princess Royal University Hospital report spike in cases

Measles rash

Two major NHS hospitals have reported an increase in the number of people presenting with the highly contagious, and potentially life-threatening, measles virus.

King’s College Hospital (KCH) in Camberwell and the Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH) in Farnborough, both part of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, have seen an increase in patients with the virus, with six confirmed cases at the PRUH, two at KCH and further cases suspected.

Measles, characterised by a rash, is a highly contagious virus that can be contracted by direct contact with an infected person or by them coughing and sneezing and infecting the air. Other symptoms include a runny nose, red eyes, a cough, inflamed tonsils, small white spots inside the cheeks, an increasing high temperature.

Roxanne Mohammad-Klein, Deputy Director of Infection Control at King’s said, “We have recently seen an increase in measles at the hospital. Although most cases can be successfully treated some patients experience life-threatening complications such as pneumonia and brain swelling.

“The tell-tale sign of measles is a rash that starts behind the ears and spreads over the face and body. The rash consists of flat red or brown blotches which can flow into each other and it feels bumpy when you run your fingers over it.

“When a patient comes to us with suspected measles we follow established protocols which include isolating the patient and testing them at the earliest opportunity.

“If you suspect that you or a member of your family has measles you should phone (not visit) your GP without delay. Because the virus is highly contagious, please avoid going to hospital where there are other patients – such as those with low immune systems and pregnant women – who could suffer complications if they came into contact with an infected person.”

Measles can be caught at any age but is most commonly found in children aged 1-4 who have not been immunised. There has also been an increase in people presenting with scarlet fever.

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Notes to editors

1. King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is one of the UK’s largest and busiest teaching hospitals, training over 900 dentists, 750 doctors and 300 nurses every year. The Trust is recognized internationally for its work in liver disease and transplantation, neurosciences, cardiac, haemato-oncology, stroke and major trauma. On 1 October 2013, King’s took over the running of the Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley and Orpington Hospital, as well as some services at Beckenham Beacon and Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup. The new enlarged organisation has over 10,500 staff and provides over 1 million patient contacts a year. 9,000 babies are delivered by our hospitals each year, and over 750 patients come to our Emergency Departments every day. For more information, please visit the website. You can also support the work of King’s College Hospital at

2. King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering collaboration between King’s College London, and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts.

King’s Health Partners is one of only six Department of Health-designated AHSCs in England and brings together an unrivalled range and depth of clinical and research expertise, spanning both physical and mental health. Our combined strengths will drive improvements in care for patients, allowing them to benefit from breakthroughs in medical science and receive leading edge treatment at the earliest possible opportunity.

Our partnership brings together...

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  • 31,000 staff;
  • 25,000 students;
  • a combined annual turnover of £2.8bn.

... to advance health and wellbeing by integrating world-class research, care and teaching.

3. At King’s College Hospital we fundraise for the best in treatment, research and health education, leading-edge equipment and improving well-being in our communities. By uniting doctors, nurses, researchers and academics with our supporters and volunteers we can provide the best patient care that goes above and beyond. Find out more and support us at