With the current Measles outbreak across England, the NHS have issued guidelines to protect healthcare professionals and vulnerable individuals.
The guidelines state that the Measles virus (Rubeola) is a highly infectious, notifiable, vaccine-preventable, acute viral disease.
Initial symptoms include fever, conjunctivitis, cough, runny nose and sneezing. This may be followed by small grey/white spots, called Koplik’s spots, on the inside of the mouth 1 to 2 days before rash onset, which may last for 2 to 4 days. These spots are often confused with other lesions in the mouth and so their suspected presence is an unreliable marker of measles.
Measles rash appears brown or red and blotchy on white skin but may be harder to detect on black or brown skin. The rash develops 2 to 4 days after the onset of fever and spreads from the head to the body over the next 3 to 4 days.
Vulnerable groups include unvaccinated individuals, pregnant women, immunocompromised patients and the chronically ill. These groups are more at risk of developing severe complications including pneumonia or bronchitis, convulsions, diarrhoea, meningitis or encephalitis, immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) and late-onset subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE).
Healthcare professionals are particularly at risk as Measles is transmitted via airborne respiratory particles or direct contact with nasal/throat secretions of infected individuals.
At-risk settings include settings where infectious patients may present for care, including GP surgeries and emergency care. They also include settings where vulnerable patient groups may be exposed, such as neonatal and paediatric units, antenatal clinics and maternity units, haematology, and oncology units.
DENPRO can help keep you safe as one of the most effective ways to protect yourself against this virus is the correct use of PPE and by using the correct technique for donning and doffing (putting on and removing) PPE safely.
DENPRO was born out of the global pandemic of Covid-19 so the DENPRO FFP3 masks have been expertly designed and engineered to offer PPE with clinical grade protection. These masks are revolutionary within the market and offer high fit test pass rates, optimum protection, and a secure and comfortable fit. The technology provides low breathing resistance and high filtration (99%+). They are splash resistant, latex and metal free and the 4-point head strap adjustment, electrostatic filter media and contoured, moulded face seal; makes the mask respirator highly comfortable with an APF 20 (Assigned Protection Factor).
But in order for an FFP3 respirator to be fully effective it is a legal requirement that it is fit tested by a properly trained competent fit tester in order to check that an adequate seal can be achieved with each specific model. It is also important that the user carries out a fit check each time an FFP3 respirator is worn.
With a 92%* Fit Testing Pass Rate (*source: Northern & South Eastern HSC Trusts), the DENPRO DPL01 FFP3 NR mask is deemed to be one with the highest fit testing pass rates.
Throughout the design stages, they have worked with healthcare professionals to ensure the Denpro mask provides optimum performance, comfort and fit for the user. The DPL01 mask is a direct result of the extensive feedback that they had from front-line workers, Infection Prevention Control experts and fit test experts. As a result DENPRO is now being listed as a key supplier on the NHS Framework Agreement for PPE.
The portfolio of masks include the DPL01, DPL01 PLUS and DPL02 PLUS Premium FFP3 NR Disposable Non-Valved Cup-Shaped Half Mask Respirators.
The DPL01 PLUS is equipped with a lower profile structure, making it more compact for improved visibility and the DPL02 PLUS offers the same superior features but for smaller faces to ensure there is a mask to keep everyone safe.
Importantly they have been designed so they can all be worn with glasses and visors as PPE should always be worn with a gown, gloves and eye protection.
FFP3 respirator fit testing is essential for staff who may be required to assess or clinically care for a suspected or confirmed measles case.
- Cover the front of the respirator with both hands, being careful not to disturb the position of the respirator.
- Exhale sharply. If any air leaks around the nose, readjust the nosepiece as per fitting instructions, noting that the mask is designed so that it can sit higher or lower along the bridge of the nose dependent on the user. If air leaks around the edges, adjust the position of the respirator and/or tension of the straps.
- Retest the seal.
- Repeat the procedure until the respirator is sealed properly. If you cannot achieve a proper fit, do not enter contaminated area. See your supervisor.
If you suspect you have the virus or have come into contact with someone who has the virus it is important to know it has an incubation period ranging between 7 to 18 days (mean: 10 to 12 days) and individuals are typically infectious from 4 days before and up to 4 full days after rash onset.
The exclusion period from healthcare settings, workplaces and educational settings is for the duration of the infectious period, which includes a full 4 days after onset of the rash.