South West Wales

Cwmtawe School measles: Four more cases identified

Measles jab
Image caption Two hundred pupils at Cwmtawe Secondary School have been offered the MMR jab

Four further measles cases have been linked to a school in Neath Port Talbot.

Health officials said there were now seven cases associated with Cwmtawe Secondary School in Pontardawe, two of which have been confirmed.

Two cases were also identified last week in pupils at Ysgol Y Cribarth, Abercrave, Powys, who are connected to one of the confirmed Cwmtawe cases.

Two hundred pupils at Cwmtawe School have been offered the MMR jab.

Dr Jorg Hoffmann, consultant in communicable disease control for Public Health Wales, said: ''According to health records one case had received a single measles vaccine but none had had any doses of the MMR vaccine.

"This again demonstrates the importance of getting your children vaccinated with two doses of MMR which is needed to provide the maximum 99% protection against measles, mumps and rubella.''

An MMR vaccination session was held at Cwmtawe School last Tuesday when 55 people were immunised.

However, at least 46 children did not take up the offer of vaccination during the school session.

Public Health Wales said records showed that most people who attended the clinic were given the second dose - or booster - of the MMR vaccine rather than the first dose.

Health officials reminded parents in Wales that their children were at risk if not fully vaccinated with two doses of MMR. Vaccination can be arranged at any time via the family GP.

All parents of unvaccinated children in Cwmtawe School and Ysgol Y Cribarth have received letters urging them to arrange for their children to receive the jab.

Latest outbreak

Powys Teaching Health Board has made arrangements for children at Ysgol Y Cribarth to be immunised individually due to the small numbers of children needing the vaccination.

The latest outbreak comes three months after Wales' biggest measles outbreak ended.

The Swansea area epidemic saw suspected cases first reported last November before it spread to mid and west Wales.

By the time the outbreak was declared over in July, it had resulted in 1,219 notifications of measles cases in the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg, Hywel Dda and Powys health board areas.

Some 88 people visited a hospital due to measles during the outbreak and more than 75,000 were vaccinated throughout Wales.

Gareth Colfer-Williams, 25, from Swansea, died from pneumonia after contracting the virus at the height of the epidemic.

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

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