Public Health Wales: MMR vaccination urged as measles outbreak declared in Newport
Posted on Monday 5th June 2017
Public Health Wales is urging parents to ensure their children have received two doses of the MMR vaccine as it investigates an outbreak of measles linked to a Newport school.
Four people with links to Lliswerry High School have been confirmed as having measles. Parents of pupils at the school have been contacted, and vaccination sessions are being undertaken there this week.
Children with measles symptoms - which include a fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes (conjunctivitis), and a distinctive red rash - should be kept home from school.
Parents should also contact their GP or NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47, and alert them of the symptoms before attending any appointment.
Heather Lewis, Consultant in Health Protection for Public Health Wales, said: "While four cases of measles may not sound a lot, we know that there are other children attending the school who are unvaccinated and could easily catch and spread measles.
"We have written to parents with children at the school to alert them to the risk, and we will are undertaking vaccinations at the school this week.
"Measles is highly infectious and the only way to prevent large outbreaks is through vaccination. We urge parents whose children have not received two doses of MMR to ensure that they speak to their GP immediately to arrange this quick, safe and effective vaccine."
Adults who have never had measles or the MMR vaccine and who work in close contact with children are also urged to ensure they speak to their GP about vaccination.
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, but 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.
About 1 in 5 children with measles can experience serious complications such as ear infections, pneumonia or meningitis. One in 10 children with measles ends up in hospital and in rare cases it can be fatal.
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