Parents in Wales have been urged to ensure their children are up to date with the MMR vaccine, as public health chiefs investigate an ‘outbreak’ of measles in Cardiff.
Public Health Wales said that seven children across the Welsh capital have been confirmed as having measles in the past six weeks, warning more cases ‘can be expected’.
It said the body was working with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Cardiff Council to ‘ensure contact tracing has taken place and appropriate advice given to those who may be susceptible to infection’.
And it warned that those who had not received two doses of MMR ‘may be withdrawn from in person contact with vulnerable settings such as schools or nurseries if they are identified as a contact of a case of measles due to the high risk of them being infected’.
Sion Lingard, consultant in health protection for Public Health Wales, said: ‘Links have been found between all seven cases so while there is currently no evidence of wider community transmission.’
He noted that measles was an ‘extremely contagious infection’ and that the organisation was ‘concerned that people who are not protected by vaccination could be at risk’.
‘It can be expected that more cases may be identified over the coming weeks,’ he added.
The ‘only way to prevent outbreaks is through vaccination’, stressed Mr Lingard.
‘We urge parents whose children have not received two doses of MMR as offered to ensure that they speak to their GP surgery to arrange this quick, safe and effective vaccine.
‘If children are not yet old enough to receive their second dose, they don’t need to have this earlier than scheduled.’
Adults who have never had measles or the MMR vaccine and who are in close contact with children are also urged to ensure they speak to contact their GP practice about vaccination.