James Cook Hospital measles alert

Health bosses have sent out warning letters after two patients at a Teesside hospital were later found to have suspected measles.

About 200 inpatients at Middlesbrough's James Cook University Hospital have been alerted to look out for symptoms.

The health trust said that as both of those affected were in single rooms, in wards 3 and 15, they would only have posed a very low risk to anyone else.

Measles can be spread through direct contact or via coughs and sneezes.

The incubation period is usually about two weeks, and early symptoms are a raised temperature, cough, runny nose, and red and watery eyes.

'Precautionary measure'

A rash appears a few days later on the neck or hairline, spreading down the body.

A spokesman for the South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust said: "Although we are still waiting for official confirmation that the patients have measles, we have taken the precautionary measure of contacting patients who were on these wards at the same time.

"It's important to stress we do think the risk of anyone contracting measles is low but we wanted to minimise the chances of the illness being passed onto anyone else.

"The letters sent out basically explain the current situation, the symptoms to look out for and what people should do if these symptoms arise."

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