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Vaccination warning as new measles cases are confirmed in Wales

09 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Photo by Victoria Model from Pixabay

Public Health Wales (PHW) has confirmed it is investigating two new cases of measles in children.

Four cases of measles have now been confirmed in the Gwent area in the last three weeks.

All four cases are linked through attendance at a healthcare setting on 21 March, and as a result an outbreak has been declared.

PHW has identified contacts of the cases, and is providing their parents with advice on what action to take and information about the signs and symptoms of measles. Both patients are receiving appropriate care.

Very unwell

Measles spreads very easily among those who are unvaccinated, especially in nurseries and schools. Children who contract the disease can become very unwell and, in some cases, measles can lead to hospitalisation and in rare cases, tragically death.

People in certain at-risk groups including babies and young children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immunity, are at increased risk of complications from measles.

Beverley Griggs, Consultant in Public Health for Public Health Wales and Chair of the multi-agency Incident Management Team, said: “We are taking this opportunity to remind parents that measles cases are increasing in the UK, and that children should receive two MMR doses to give them the best protection against measles.

“We are investigating two confirmed cases of measles in the Gwent area. As part of our investigations, we have identified a number of patients who attended the CEAU at Grange Hospital at specific times between 30 March and 2 April.

“The parents of these patients will receive a text message with a link with further information about what they should look out for in their children, and what they should do if they have concerns. Any contacts who are unimmunised are at increased risk of measles and will be asked to stay away from nursery, school or childcare settings for two weeks. This is routine public health action and is intended to prevent further transmission of the infection.

“If you do not receive a text message from us, then please be reassured that you do not need to take any action or be concerned.

“However, we are reminding parents that measles is highly contagious and can have serious consequences, particularly for young children. It is therefore important that anyone who was exposed to the infection is vigilant for any symptoms in their children.”

Fully vaccinated

Parents can check if their child is fully vaccinated by looking in their child’s red book or visiting their local health board’s website.

Two doses of the MMR vaccine is more than 95 per cent effective at preventing measles. The first dose of MMR is usually given to babies at 12 months of age and the second just after three years of age.

Measles can be caught at any age, and adults who have never had measles or the MMR vaccine and who are in close contact with children are also being encouraged to speak to their GP about vaccination.

The two most recent cases in Wales come as a resurgence of measles cases has been confirmed in England.

From 1 January to 31 December 2023 there were 368 laboratory confirmed measles cases in England.

Public Health Scotland has also confirmed five cases of laboratory confirmed measles in Scotland since October 2023.

An outbreak of measles in Cardiff was concluded in January 2024, and included eight linked cases.

More information about the MMR vaccine is available here.


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Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago

Covidiots elevated the non vaccine approach, the idiocy pervades, there is no other word for it.

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