MMR vaccinations have started at a school in Neath Port Talbot, after one confirmed case and four suspected cases of measles. Health officials have warned that there could be a new outbreak, because so many young people are not fully immunised.
Public health officials fear that youngsters in South West Wales could face a new outbreak of measles because hundreds of children are still not fully immunised.
Today they began vaccinating at Cwmtawe school in Pontardawe after one confirmed case and two suspected cases were diagnosed there. A further two cases are suspected at a school at Abercrave, further up the Swansea Valley. Rob Osborne reports.
Public Health Wales says there are a further four suspected cases of measles connected with a school in Neath Port Talbot.
Pupils at Cwmtawe School are due to be offered the MMR jab from tomorrow, after one child was confirmed to have measles on Friday.
Public Health Wales say two further suspected cases have been identified in the school and two other cases in Ysgol Y Cribarth, Powys, which are connected to the Neath Port Talbot cases.
This cluster of measles cases comes only three months after the end of Wales’s biggest ever measles outbreak, which was centred on the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Board area, so we are obviously concerned and want to act quickly. Although we vaccinated more than 75,000 people during the outbreak, we are aware of more than 30,000 children in the 10 to 18 age group who remain unvaccinated in Wales and have always warned that this could lead to another outbreak.
We have written to all parents of unvaccinated children in Cwmtawe School and Ysgol Y Cribarth to urge them to arrange for their children to be vaccinated.
In the meantime, to prevent the spread of infection, we would urge parents of any children who become unwell with measles-like symptoms over the weekend to keep them at home and seek medical advice, and not to allow them to attend events where other children will be present
Health Minister Mark Drakeford AM says the Welsh Government and local health board are well versed in dealing with measles after the Swansea outbreak. He says they are aiming to 'get on top' of what he described as a 'small outbreak' before it gets any bigger.