Experts have issued a warning to Brits urging them to avoid public transport, shops and schools if you have measles.

The rise of measles in the UK is concentrated in major cities like Birmingham and London currently.

Figures from NHS England suggest more than 3.4 million children under the age of 16 years are unprotected against this trio of serious, and preventable, diseases.

“Measles is a highly infectious disease," Prof Beate Kampmann of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine told The Sun newspaper today, adding: "and anyone with symptoms needs to stay at home as they risk infecting other people."

Cariad Evans, a virologist from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has today stressed that if you have measles or symptoms, then you should continue to avoid all public areas for at least four days after the rash appears.

She says: "Children are infectious four days before the onset of rash and four days after, so we recommend that children with the bug stay home during this time. The main risk of transmission is when in a room with people for 15 minutes or longer or face-to-face contact.”

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"This is concerning"

"This would mean avoiding public transport and busy areas where they may expose others," she explained.

Speaking about the situation in Europe, Dr Hans Kluge, regional director at the WHO, said: "We have seen, in the region, not only a 30-fold increase in measles cases but also nearly 21,000 hospitalisations and five measles-related deaths. This is concerning.

"Vaccination is the only way to protect children from this potentially dangerous disease."

Further outbreaks of measles will spread from Birmingham to other towns and cities including Worcester, Malvern and Evesham unless urgent action is taken to increase Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination uptake in areas at greatest risk.

This was the stark warning from the UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA) Chief Executive during a visit to Birmingham, amid a rapid rise in cases in parts of the region since last October.