Public Health Wales: Newport and Torfaen measles outbreak declared over

Posted on Tuesday 3rd October 2017

An outbreak of measles affecting the Newport and Torfaen areas has been declared over.

The outbreak, which had been under investigation since May, led to 17 people being confirmed with measles, but there have been no new cases since mid-August.

A total of 1,238 children have been vaccinated in schools sessions organised throughout the two counties.

Public Health Wales is warning parents and young people that although the outbreak is now over, there continues to be a risk of measles to people who are not fully vaccinated with two doses of MMR.

The Newport and Torfaen outbreak had direct links to a large outbreak of measles in Europe, which is ongoing and which still has the potential to cause further cases of measles in Wales.

Dr Rhianwen Stiff, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for Public Health Wales, said: "This outbreak was caused by the same strain of measles that has been circulating in Europe, which is only a short plane ride away.

"With people travelling regularly between Wales and the continent, there remains the chance that people will come into contact with measles infection, and people who have not received two doses of the MMR vaccine are most at risk from developing measles either at home or abroad. We would urge parents and young people to make arrangements to catch up on missed doses.

"I would like to offer my thanks to colleagues in Public Health Wales, health boards, local authorities, primary care and the school nursing services, whose prompt actions have helped prevent further spread of measles and bring this outbreak to a close."

Children with measles symptoms - which include a high temperature, cough, runny nose, red eyes (conjunctivitis), and a distinctive red rash - should be kept home from school, nurseries and social events.

Parents who suspect their child has measles should contact their GP or NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47 for an assessment and should not attend surgery or hospital waiting rooms.

The first dose of MMR is usually given to babies at between 12 and 13 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.

About one in five 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

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