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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Statement on measles outbreak

Public Health Wales has issued the following statement about the current measles outbreak:

"You may be aware that there is a very large outbreak of measles in Swansea that is spreading across Wales.

The illness spreads very quickly through schools if many of the pupils have not been protected by having two Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine injections.

There have been 38 children admitted to hospital during this outbreak as a result of their measles infection.

We are likely to see cases of measles in North Wales and it is possible that we will have a school outbreak soon, as MMR uptake is not high enough to stop measles circulating.

If your child/teenager has not had MMR vaccine/s or you think they might have missed a vaccination you should contact your GP, health visitor or practice nurse now to get them protected.

Children who are allergic to eggs can receive the vaccine as normal. If your household or close family contains young babies, pregnant women or family members with serious immune conditions who cannot have the MMR vaccine, please make sure that all children and teenagers in the house are fully vaccinated. This will help protect these vulnerable individuals.

Measles is highly infectious and is spread from person to person by coughs and sneezes. Early symptoms include a high temperature, cough, cold and conjunctivitis (painful, red eyes).

A red, blotchy rash appears 3 to 7 days later which usually begins on the face and spreads down over the rest of the body. The person is usually quite ill and often prefers to lie quietly in a darkened room. Serious complications can occur.

Any child who develops symptoms of measles should not attend school for four days after the start of the rash.

If your child is not fully protected please act now to protect them and those around them. You can get more information on measles on the Public Health Wales website:

* For further information about measles or MMR please contact NHS Direct on 0845 46 47."

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