Measles cases rise to 886

Public Health Wales has reported that the number of measles cases has risen to 886, as children have gone back to school after Easter. 25-year-old Gareth Williams died during the epidemic, it has not been confirmed whether measles was the cause.

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Measles 'cannot be taken lightly'

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

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.

Measles cannot be taken lightly because you can never tell who will go on to develop the more serious complications of pneumonia or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). MMR vaccination offers the only protection against these complications.

– Dr Marion Lyons, Director of Health Protection for Public Health Wales

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