'A month after measles and my kids are still ill'
A DAD says his children are still suffering the side effects of measles more than a month after being diagnosed with the disease.
Craig Thomas has urged other parents to have their children vaccinated with the MMR jab to protect them from the serious illness.
Mr Thomas, 37, of Francis Road, Morriston, said Chloe, 16, Jordan, 14, and Kieran, 10, all fell ill around the same time and were still suffering now.
He said: "It was a nightmare — Chloe had measles first and the boys had it the same time.
"They were all off school for a month altogether.
"After having measles they are still weak and it leaves them with side effects — the spots are unbelievable.
"They are all back in school but they are not 110 per cent, although they don't have the measles anymore."
He added: "I hope they are not going to suffer deafness.
"I still worry about Jordan as he's still getting these headaches, which he had when he had measles."
Mr Thomas, who lives with partner Nicola Markham, 36, said he was determined that all his children would have the MMR jab despite having the highly contagious disease.
He added: "The school has had to put Chloe's exams on hold because she's not with it at all.
"Jordan has come home with headaches, sickness and had earache over the weekend.
"They were bed-ridden when they had measles and Chloe lost half a stone in weight, so we had to make sure she was drinking plenty of fluids.
"Kieran has just turned 10 and his face was swollen and he had red puffy eyes.
"We still have memories of them having the measles and we keep on thinking that they are going to come back again."
Mr Thomas said he wished he had ensured his children had the MMR vaccine when they were younger, but he had decided against it because of concerns.
Claims of a link between the jab and autism have been totally discredited.
He said: "They didn't have the jab because of concerns we had in the 1990s — I regret it and feel guilty and wish I could turn back the clock. I would encourage other parents not to wait until next week but to make sure their children have the jab done now.
"I would not wish any other parents to go through what we have been through — they should get the MMR vaccine."
Findings following the measles outbreak in the Swansea area show that two doses of the MMR protects in around 99 of 100 cases.
Research also shows one dose of the MMR vaccine has shown to protect against measles in more than 95 out of every 100 cases vaccinated — higher than previous experience.
Fewer than 10 laboratory- confirmed cases are reported to have previously received the MMR vaccination in the outbreak area since the start of the outbreak. Vaccination teams will be starting in Bridgend schools next week.