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Five new cases in salmonella outbreak

Five new cases of salmonella have been reported to Public Health Wales, following an outbreak last month.

Public Health Wales says there are now 17 cases, with nine confirmed as being linked to the outbreak, in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Carmarthenshire, Rhondda Cynon Taf and the Vale of Glamorgan.

Penclawdd Shellfish Processing Ltd voluntarily withdrew their laverbread from sale, after 10 of those effected by the infection reported having eaten laverbread before they became unwell.

A study has confirmed a strong association with laverbread probably produced between 5th and 8th March.

Public Health Wales says samples taken from Penclawdd's factory in Swansea have not shown any evidence of salmonella.

Source of salmonella outbreak 'unclear'

Public Health Wales says it is working with the Food Standards Agency and environmental health officers from Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Carmarthenshire to investigate the outbreak.

We know that the majority of cases have eaten laverbread produced by Penclawdd. The company has cooperated fully with our investigations and has chosen to voluntarily withdraw the product from sale as a precaution.

Laverbread is generally a safe product to eat, and it remains unclear whether it is indeed the source of this outbreak.

However, given that we cannot rule out laverbread at present, it is very important that, to avoid the risk of illness, anyone with this product at home does not eat it.

– Dr Jorg Hoffmann, Public Health Wales

Anyone who is concerned about their health should contact their GP or call NHS Direct 0845 4647.


Public meeting held over Ystalyfera landslide fears

by Nicola Hendy

Residents of Ystalyfera in the Swansea Valley are meeting with the council this evening amid concerns that the area could suffer another landslide.

The village was hit just over a year ago when the ground gave way above the Panteg area.

A meeting will begin at six o'clock at the village's Panteg Chapel to discuss the fact that the area is now classed as being at high risk of a similar occurrence.

Public meeting to be held over landslide fears

Ystalyfera was hit at the end of 2012 and people were evacuated. Credit: ITV News

Residents of a village in the Swansea Valley hit by landslides will attend a public meeting this evening over fears they could be hit again. Ystalyfera was hit at the end of 2012 and people were evacuated from their homes.

A stability report commissioned by Neath Port Talbot County Council suggests the area remains at risk and properties in the villages of Pant Teg and Godre'r Graig are now in a high risk category landslide area.

Many residents fear their properties are now worthless if they are unable to sell them.

Residents are now concerned over coal mining plans for the area and fear if given the go ahead it could cause a major landslide in view of the volatile conditions. Residents say they fear another tragedy like Aberfan.


Measles cases at three schools, college and nursery

There have been measles cases reported at two primary schools, a further education college, and a nursery - in addition to cases at Cwmtawe School in Pontardawe.

We now have cases not only in Cwmtawe School but also in two primary schools, a further education college and a nursery – and in all of these places there are unvaccinated children and young people who could easily catch and spread measles.

Parents who have decided not to vaccinate their children are not only risking their children’s health, but are putting other children at risk, children either too young to be vaccinated or with medical conditions that prevent them from being vaccinated.

We are very frustrated to see more cases of measles in the area so soon after the large outbreak earlier this year and we are very keen for this to be stopped before it can get any bigger and we return to a position where children are admitted to hospital or die or are damaged by the disease.

The only way to achieve that is through vaccination and I 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.

– Dr Jörg Hoffmann, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for Public Health Wales

Public Health Wales says it wants to remind parents that children need two doses of MMR for the maximum 99 per cent protection against measles.

The virus is very contagious, can cause serious complications and even be fatal.

The symptoms of measles include: fever, fatigue, runny nose, conjunctivitis, a distinctive red rash.

Public Health Wales is urging anyone who thinks they or their children has the symptoms should contact their GP or NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47.

Measles warning after number of cases rises again

Public health officials are warning that the number of measles cases has risen to 14, after an outbreak earlier this year.

There are now 13 cases linked to Cwmtawe School in Pontardawe, and a case of suspected measles with no apparent links to the school, at a nursery in the Swansea area.

Health chiefs have warned that thousands of children in Wales still haven't had two doses of the MMR vaccine. Credit: PA

Public Health Wales says there is "potential for the outbreak to spread quickly", unless children who have not received two doses of the MMR are vaccinated urgently.

Two weeks ago, vaccination clinics were held at the secondary school in Pontardawe, after the first case was confirmed.

The last outbreak, centred on Swansea and Neath Port Talbot, was declared over in July, having started last November.

It resulted in more than 1,200 cases.

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