Measles outbreak leads to calls for MMR

Posted on Tuesday, June 28th, 2011 in Health

10 cases of measles have been reported in Ceredigion and a further 20 cases have been reported in the areas of Pembrokeshire, Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Carmarthen, Powys and the old Gwent area.

Many of the cases which have been reported have been found in children who have not received their scheduled vaccination.

Measles can potentially cause deadly complications in children under the age of five. Symptoms start with fever, cough, red eyes, blocked nose and a general feeling of illness. After 5 days, a rash will appear on the face and spread down to the rest of the body.

Doctors have advised that if your child feels unwell and you suspect it may be measles you should contact your GP. Children who have had measles should also not return to their school or nursery until 5 days after the rash appears on the body.

Dr Richard Roberts of Public Health Wales has stated that the MMR vaccine is safe and effective. He also believes that the only way to prevent measles outbreaks is to ensure that 95% of the children in Wales receive two doses of the vaccine.

Childeren should receive their first MMR vaccination at around 12 to 13 months of age, with a second dose at the age of 3 years and 4 months. Public Health Wales is keen to stress that it is never too late to catch up on a missed dose of the vaccine.

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