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Public Health Wales notified of four new measles cases

There are two confirmed cases at a school in Neath Port Talbot

It's believed there are a further four cases of measles in South West Wales. Public Health Wales say there are now seven cases associated with Cwmtawe School in Neath Port Talbot, two of which have been confirmed in laboratory tests.

Last week, two cases were identified in children in another school in Powys, and these are connected to one of the confirmed cases at Cwmtawe School.

Health officials fear new measles outbreak

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.


MMR vaccinations begin at Swansea Valley school

A vaccination clinic is being held at Cwmtawe School in Pontardawe today after one confirmed and two suspected cases of measles at the school.

A further two cases have are suspected in children at Ysgol Y Cribarth in Powys.

More than 200 children at Cwmtawe are not fully vaccinated.

The MMR jab will be offered to all children who are not fully vaccinated.

It is just three months after the end of Wales's biggest ever measles outbreak, which was also centred on the Swansea area.

More than 1,200 people contracted measles, 88 serious enough to visit hospital, and one person died.

In spite of vaccinating more than 75,000 people during the last outbreak, health officials are concerned that at least 30,000 children remain unvaccinated in Wales.

The symptoms of measles include a fever, fatigue, runny nose, pink eyes and a distinctive red rash.

Doctors are urging parents to keep children at home if they suspect measles and to seek medical advice.

They say that any unvaccinated children should receive the MMR jab as soon as possible.

Further four suspected measles cases in Neath Port Talbot

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

– Dr Jorg Hoffmann, Public Health Wales

Decision due on when pupils will get MMR vaccinations

Public health officials say a decision will be made today on when more than 200 children in the Neath Port Talbot area will receive MMR vaccinations.

Laboratory tests last week confirmed a child at Cwmtawe Comprehensive School had contracted measles.

More than 75,000 people were vaccinated during the measles outbreak in Wales earlier in the year. Credit: PA

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board is arranging for MMR vaccinations to be offered this week to all pupils at the school who are not fully vaccinated.

Of 1,260 pupils, 62 are recorded as having received no doses of the MMR vaccine and 142 have received only one dose.

The measles outbreak, centred on Swansea and Neath Port Talbot, earlier this year resulted in more than 1,200 cases - and was officially declared over in July.


Vaccinations offered after new measles case confirmed

200 children at a Neath Port Talbot school will be vaccinated next week Credit: PA

MMR vaccinations will be offered to more than 200 children at a Neath Port Talbot secondary school after a case of measles was confirmed in a pupil.

Public Health Wales has received two notifications of measles in pupils at Cwmtawe Comprehensive School and one of these has been laboratory confirmed.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board is arranging for MMR vaccinations to be offered to all pupils at the school who are not fully vaccinated next week.

Of 1,260 pupils at the school, 62 are recorded as having received no doses of the MMR vaccine and 142 have received only one dose.

Two doses of MMR are needed to provide the maximum 99 per cent protection against measles.

Measles epidemic in Swansea 'is over'

One person died in the measles outbreak but health chiefs say the epidemic is over. Credit: PA

The measles outbreak centred on the Swansea area has been declared over eight months after it began.

Public Health Wales has announced that there have been no laboratory confirmed measles cases linked to the outbreak area since 22 May, indicating that the outbreak is now over.

The outbreak began in November 2012 and resulted in 1,219 cases, 88 people visited a hospital due to measles during the outbreak and one person died.

Efforts to bring the outbreak to an end have seen 75,868 unscheduled MMR vaccinations given at GP surgeries, weekend drop-in sessions and schools and occupational health vaccination sessions in Wales during the outbreak period.

But Public Health Wales is warning that there are still around 30,000 unvaccinated children in the 10 to 18 age group across Wales, and that there is still a possibility of a further outbreak in the future.

Pneumonia caused by measles killed Swansea dad

Gareth Colfer-Williams who was 25 caught measles and died earlier this year. Credit: ITV

A young father who died in the South Wales measles epidemic failed to have an inoculation as a child, an inquest has heard. Dad-of-one Gareth Colfer-Williams, 25, was among more than 1,200 infected by measles in the outbreak but the only one to die.

An inquest heard how Gareth was found dead at his home in Port Tennant, Swansea, by family members - days after being sent home by doctors. Swansea Coroner's Court heard he had visited the doctors complaining of a rash all over his body.

But he was told to go home and take paracetamol - even though he had not had the MMR jab in his life. Coroner Philip Rogers said his partner reported he had a high temperature and rash all over his body and was suffering hallucinations.

"Somebody stayed up until about 3.30am and then at 7.45am the same day that family member returned and found him dead on the sofa. An ambulance was called but unfortunately nothing could be done. Swansea was in a measles epidemic and his death was due to natural causes, " said Mr Rogers.

Unemployed Mr Colfer-Williams lived in Port Tennant, Swansea, with his fiancee Cairo Oneim and their four-year-old daughter Dakota. Gareth was concerned about his daughter and made sure she had the jab but failed to have himself immunised.

Pathologist Dr Maurizio Brotto said Gareth was "very underweight" at just 7st 7lbs and that he died from giant cell pneumonia caused by measles. The inquest heard that Gareth had suffered from alcohol problems and two weeks before he had gone into detox leaving his body vulnerable.

A verdict of natural death was recorded following Gareth's death in April. Speaking after the case his mother Angela Colfer said: "He was a wonderful son and a wonderful father, uncle and brother. Cairo and Dakota are having a terrible time. They are devastated."

What is mumps?

Public Health Wales issues the following information on mumps:

  • An acute viral illness, only known to affect humans
  • Transmitted by direct contact with saliva or droplets from saliva of infected person
  • One or both of parotid salivary glands (near ears) swell up and become painful
  • Around one-third of people infected develop no symptoms
  • Most cases are mild, but when complications occur they can be serious
  • Can be caught at any age
  • Having it once usually confers lifelong immunity to catching it again
  • Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) immunisation protects over 95% of children
  • Current schedule recommends one dose to be given at around 13 months, and a second dose at between 3-5 years
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