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Swansea measles outbreak worsens – 808 cases reported

Another 43 cases of measles have been reported to Public Health Wales in the last two days, bringing the total number of cases in the outbreak centred on Swansea to 808.

Just under 10% of the people affected, 77, have required hospital treatment.

Vaccinations in secondary schools started on Wednesday, with public health officials focusing on children and teenagers aged 10 to 18 who did not get jabs when they were infants. ‘Catch-up’ clinics have been organised again at hospitals in Swansea, Neath and Bridgend.

Marion Lyons, director of health protection for Public Health Wales, said: “We continue to offer unprecedented opportunities for parents to vaccinate their children against measles, but parents need to make sure they take these opportunities.

“Although we want children of all ages who have missed vaccinations to catch up now, we are particularly concerned about those aged between 10 and 18. These are the children who would have missed vaccination because of concerns about the safety of MMR in the late 1990s.”

“We can't bring this outbreak to an end unless the parents of unvaccinated children either arrange vaccination with their GP, call into one of the weekend drop-in sessions or ensure that if their child attends a school where vaccinations are being offered they have signed a consent form for them to be vaccinated.

“Unvaccinated children aged between six and 12 months living in or travelling to the outbreak areas of Swansea and Neath Port Talbot can be offered vaccination by their GP. There’s no adverse effect to this extra jab and those children would still need to receive the recommended two doses at 12 months and three years and four months of age.”

The MMR vaccine is safe, effective and the only protection against a potentially fatal disease.

(Library image: Gareth Fuller / PA Wire)

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