IMPORTANT – Public Health Wales renews calls for teens and young adults to get MMR vaccination

As the measles outbreak in South East Wales continues, experts in Public Health Wales have renewed the calls for teenagers and young adults to get up-to-date with their MMR vaccinations.

Dr Gwen Lowe, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for Public Health Wales, said: “This week we have identified a new case in the Caerphilly area. We fully expect to see more cases arise as a result.

“This outbreak continues to smoulder throughout South East Wales, which is why we are urging all teenagers and young adults to ensure they are up-to-date with their MMR vaccinations.”

Fourteen cases are confirmed so far. Initially focused on Cardiff city centre, the outbreak has spread to include recent confirmed cases in the Roath area of Cardiff, Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly.

Public Health Wales is working with local authorities throughout South East Wales, and the Cardiff & Vale and Aneurin Bevan University Health Boards to contain the outbreak.

Continues Dr Lowe: “Measles is highly infectious. The only way to prevent large outbreaks is through vaccination.

“Measles can strike any age group, but this outbreak has mainly affected teenagers and young adults aged under 30. Hence it is very important that such individuals whom have not had two doses of MMR and live in South East Wales get vaccinated as a priority.

“Your GP can arrange this quick, safe and effective vaccine,” she said.

All persons that exhibit the early signs of measles – the symptoms of which include fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes (conjunctivitis) – should not go to places of work, study or school, and avoid social interactions. The distinctive red rash develops two to seven days after these first symptoms.

Measles is very contagious and can cause serious complications. In rare cases it can be fatal. Anyone who thinks they, or a child in their care, has the symptoms of measles should contact their GP or NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47, and alert them of your symptoms before attending any medical appointment.

ENDS

CONTACT:   Public Health Wales Communications Team on 029 2034 8755 (24 hours)

 

Notes:

  • The first dose of MMR is usually given to babies at 12 months of age and the second at three years and four months of age. It is never too late to catch up on missed doses.
  • The MMR vaccine is recommended by the World Health Organization, UK Department of Health and Public Health Wales as the most effective and safe way to protect children against measles.
  • Further information on measles, including a link to a video testimony from a mother whose three year old unvaccinated daughter contracted measles, is available at: http://www.publichealthwales.org/measles
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