Health chiefs warn parents - measles could kill a child
IT could be a matter of time before measles kills a child in Swansea or leaves them with permanent problems, health chiefs have warned.
Public Health Wales is again urging parents to ensure their children get the MMR vaccination as cases in the Swansea area reach 252, with 43 new cases reported in the past week alone.
Thirty eight — one in six who have contracted measles in this outbreak — have been hospitalised.
Public Health Wales said concerns were growing that it was a matter of time before a child was left with serious and permanent complications such as eye disorders, deafness, or brain damage. It can even result in death.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
The disease has now spread to children in 64 secondary and primary schools and nurseries across the area with numbers of new cases doubling weekly.
Measles is a highly infectious viral illness. Initial symptoms of measles include cold-like symptoms, red eyes and sensitivity to light, fever, greyish white spots in the mouth and throat.
After a few days a red-brown spotty rash will appear.
It usually starts behind the ears, then spreads around the head and neck before spreading to the legs and the rest of the body.
The majority of the new cases are in the Swansea area but cases are being reported across South East Wales. Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board and Public Health Wales said they were working closely to combat the outbreak.
Dr Marion Lyons, director of health protection for Public Health Wales, said the continuing measles outbreak was a "serious concern". She said: "We cannot emphasise enough that measles is an illness that can kill — or leave people with permanent complications including severe brain damage — and the only protection is the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination.
"The continuing spread of the disease in the Swansea area means that it is only a matter of time before we have a child whose health is seriously damaged by measles.
"We are urging parents of unvaccinated children to make immediate arrangements with their GP for their children to receive the safe and highly-effective MMR vaccine."
Some vulnerable groups are not suited to the MMR vaccine.
Dr Lyons added: "Ninety per cent of children receiving one dose of MMR are very quickly protected against measles."
For more informtaion visit www.publichealthwales.org/measles