Swansea GP and mother urgers parents to ensure their children have measles jabs
A SWANSEA doctor and mother is urging parents to ensure their kids are protected against measles.
With more than 200 confirmed cases of the disease in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot, GP Charlotte Jones is calling for everyone to check whether their kids have been immunised — and if they have not, to get the jab as soon as possible.
Dr Jones said people should not be complacent about the disease, which can lead to serious complications and in extreme cases can be fatal, and if they have any concerns about the vaccine they should talk to their doctor.
She said: "We have seen a rise in the number of cases of measles across Swansea and Neath Port Talbot in the past few weeks.
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"I was working in Neath when I saw my first cases — it was something I had only read about in medical textbooks until this current outbreak.
"Measles can lead to serious complications such as encephalitis — an infection of the brain — and serious bacterial infections.
"It can even be fatal.
"I would strongly urge all parents to check whether their children have had both doses of their measles vaccination, and if they haven't to get it done as soon as possible."
There have been 209 cases of measles across Swansea and Neath Port Talbot in the current outbreak — 20 in the past week alone.
The outbreak includes cases reported among pupils at 32 primary and secondary schools.
Public Health Wales and the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board (ABMU) say they are working together to tackle the problem.
Dr Jones, who is also deputy chairwoman of the General Practitioners Committee Wales and manager of the out-of-hours service for ABMU, said parents needed to take action.
She said: "I can understand why some parents have concerns — I am a parent myself and after looking at the evidence I wanted to protect my children from this serious disease and so had my children vaccinated.
"If you have any worries at all, talk to your doctor."