Neath Port Talbot schools on measles alert after new case is confirmed
CHILDREN in a Neath Port Talbot school are being offered MMR vaccinations following a new case of measles there.
More than 200 pupils at the school are to be offered the vacination after Public Health Wales (PHW) said it had received two notifications of measles in children at Cwmtawe School, with one case was laboratory confirmed.
The alert comes three months after Wales's biggest measles outbreak ended.
During the outbreak more than 75,000 were vaccinated throughout Wales, but experts say more than 30,000 children in the 10 to 18 age group still remain unvaccinated
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% protection against measles.
PHW communicable disease control consultant Dr Jorg Hoffmann said: "This case of measles comes only three months after the end of Wales' 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 today to all parents of unvaccinated children in Cwmtawe School 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."
The symptoms of measles include a fever, fatigue, runny nose, conjunctivitis (pink eye) and a distinctive red rash.
During the outbreak 88 people visited a hospital due to measles and Gareth Colfer-Williams, 25, from Swansea, died from pneumonia after contracting measles at the height of the epidemic.