First measles death suspected in Swansea
A 25-year-old man from Swansea has died from suspected measles - and health officials have warned there could be more fatalities.
The body of the man, who has been named locally as Gareth Colfer-Williams, was discovered by a relative at 9.30am yesterday at his home in the Port Tennant area of the city .
Public Health Wales has confirmed they are investigating whether measles was the cause of death.
Dr Marion Lyons, Director of Health Protection said: “Public Health Wales is aware of a death being investigated by the Swansea Coroner. A diagnosis of measles has not yet been confirmed. “Testing the deceased for measles is forming part of the investigations being overseen by the Coroner.
“My sympathies are with the family at such a tragic time. Whatever the cause of death in this case, we should not be surprised if, as the outbreak grows, we start to see deaths in Wales.
“Measles is a potentially fatal disease and around one in every 1,000 people who contracts measles in developed countries will die.
“We continue to work to end the current outbreak of measles, which is centred on the Swansea area, and which has now passed 800 cases.”
A post mortem is due to be carried out later today.
The man’s landlord, Dave Simpson, said: “I didn’t know him very well, but he seemed a lovely man.”
The death comes as the latest figures for Swansea show the cases have rocketed to 808 - with an extra 43 cases being reported since Tuesday.
Extra clinics are again being held at hospitals this weekend, with health officials now expecting a rush of parents and children wanting the jab.
Health workers are due at Cwmtawe School in Pontardawe today to immunise hundred of children.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, a total of 77 people have been hospitalised because of the contagious disease.
Many of those being treated are babies and teenagers, with the latter said to be most at risk.
St Thomas councillor Clive Lloyd, whose ward includes Port Tennant, said: "I am absolutely shocked. My initial thoughts are with the family, and I am devastated for them".
A South Wales Police spokesman said: “We are investigating the sudden and unexplained death of a 25 year old man whose body was discovered in Port Tennant, Swansea at about on Thursday April 18.
“The death is not being treated as suspicious. Officers are awaiting the results of a post mortem examination.
“The next of kin and HM Coroner have been informed.”