Parents of children who attended south Wales hospital to be contacted after confirmed measles cases

Public Health Wales say parents who do not receive a text message do not need to be concerned. Credit: NHS

Two confirmed cases have been confirmed in South Wales with both being linked to an emergency unit in a south Wales hospital.

Public Health Wales (PHW) and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board are investigating the cases in children in the Gwent area.

Measles spreads easily among those who are unvaccinated, especially in nurseries and schools.

Children who contract the disease can become very unwell. It can lead to hospitalisation and even death in some rare cases.

People who are at-risk include babies and young children, pregnant women and people with weakened immunity.

Measles symptoms include a high fever, coughing, aching and feeling generally unwell and a rash, which can appear after the initial symptoms

MMR is part of the Routine Childhood Immunisation Programme – with one dose offered when a child is one-year-old and another second dose at three-years and four-months.

The free MMR vaccine protects against measles, as well as mumps and rubella.

Parents or guardians of children who attended the Children’s Emergency Assessment Unit (CEAU) at the Grange Hospital in Cwmbran over the Easter weekend will be contacted by text message to inform them they may be contacts of a measles case.

PHW say parents who do not receive a text message do not need to take any action and do not need to be concerned.

Beverley Griggs, Consultant in Public Health for Public Health Wales and Chair of the multi-agency Incident Management Team, said: “We are taking this opportunity to remind parents that measles cases are increasing in the UK, and that children should receive two MMR doses to give them the best protection against measles.

“We are investigating two confirmed cases of measles in the Gwent area. As part of our investigations, we have identified a number of patients who attended the CEAU at Grange Hospital at specific times between 30 March and 2 April.

“The parents of these patients will receive a text message with a link with further information about what they should look out for in their children, and what they should do if they have concerns.

"Any contacts who are unimmunised are at increased risk of measles and will be asked to stay away from nursery, school or childcare settings for two weeks. This is routine public health action and is intended to prevent further transmission of the infection.

“If you do not receive a text message from us, then please be reassured that you do not need to take any action or be concerned.

“However, we are reminding parents that measles is highly contagious and can have serious consequences, particularly for young children. It is therefore important that anyone who was exposed to the infection is vigilant for any symptoms in their children.”

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