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Two measles cases confirmed in Gwent

Public Health Wales and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board are investigating two cases of measles in children in the Gwent area.

Public Health Wales has identified contacts of the cases, and is providing their parents with advice on what action to take and information about the signs and symptoms of measles.  Both patients are receiving appropriate care, and no outbreak has been declared.

As part of routine contact tracing for the most recent case, parents or guardians of children who attended the Children’s Emergency Assessment Unit (CEAU) at the Grange Hospital in Cwmbran over the Easter weekend will be contacted by text message to inform them they may be contacts of a measles case.  

Parents who do not receive a text message do not need to take any action, and do not need to be concerned.

Beverley Griggs, Consultant in Public Health for Public Health Wales and Chair of the multi-agency Incident Management Team, said:

“We are taking this opportunity to remind parents that measles cases are increasing in the UK, and that children should receive two MMR doses to give them the best protection against measles.

“We are investigating two confirmed cases of measles in the Gwent area.  As part of our investigations, we have identified a number of patients who attended the CEAU at Grange Hospital at specific times between 30 March and 2 April.

“The parents of these patients will receive a text message with a link with further information about what they should look out for in their children, and what they should do if they have concerns. Any contacts who are unimmunised are at increased risk of measles and will be asked to stay away from nursery, school or childcare settings for two weeks. This is routine public health action and is intended to prevent further transmission of the infection.

“If you do not receive a text message from us, then please be reassured that you do not need to take any action or be concerned.

“However, we are reminding parents that measles is highly contagious and can have serious consequences, particularly for young children.  It is therefore important that anyone who was exposed to the infection is vigilant for any symptoms in their children.”

Parents can check if their child is fully vaccinated by looking in their child’s red book or visiting their local health board’s website.

Measles can be prevented with the MMR vaccine which is both highly effective and safe. Two doses of the MMR vaccine is more than 95 per cent effective at preventing measles.  The first dose of MMR is usually given to babies at 12 months of age and the second just after three years of age.

Measles can be caught at any age, and adults who have never had measles or the MMR vaccine and who are in close contact with children are also encouraged to speak to their GP about vaccination.

There are risks of not being vaccinated – to yourself and to others who are vulnerable including babies, pregnant women who have not received the vaccine, older people and those with weaker immune systems.

If your child has a fever and a rash, please telephone before arrival at your GP surgery or Emergency Department, so they can be promptly isolated on arrival.

The two cases in the Gwent area come as UKHSA has confirmed a resurgence of measles cases in England. From 1 January to 31 December 2023 there were 368 laboratory confirmed measles cases in England.  Public Health Scotland has also confirmed five cases of laboratory confirmed measles in Scotland since October 2023.  An outbreak of measles in Cardiff was concluded in January 2024, and included eight linked cases.

More information about the MMR is available at https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/immunisation-and-vaccines/mmr/ and vaccination status can be found by checking a child’s red book or visiting their local health board website.

Channel website: http://www.wales.nhs.uk

Original article link: https://phw.nhs.wales/news/two-measles-cases-confirmed-in-gwent/

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