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Public health officials warn of further measles outbreaks

Public health officials they fear outbreaks of measles may spread soon to other areas as rises in cases continue to be reported in areas outside of the current outbreak in Swansea, in locations with large numbers of young people who have not yet been vaccinated.

Public Health Wales says the nearby Gwent area is of particular concern, where 84 cases have been reported since last November and there is a large population of nearly 10,000 young people in the 10 to 18 years age bracket who have still not been vaccinated.

A drop-in clinic has been arranged for the weekend in Newport, with unvaccinated children and adolescents in the Gwent area urged to attend.

Latest figures show there have been 1,074 cases of measles in the immediate outbreak area and a total of 1,237 across the whole of Wales.

According to latest PHW stats, over 43,000 non-routine jabs have been given across Wales since the start of the outbreak, with 26,500 – more than 60% - administered in general practice, including over 3,500 in the past week alone.

But there are still concerns that 38,000 children remain unvaccinated overall, with fewer than 2,500 10 to 18 year olds vaccinated in Gwent so far.

Dr Marion Lyons, director of health protection for Public Health Wales said: ‘We must keep this up if  we are going to see an end to the current outbreak and have the best chance of preventing more outbreaks in the future.’

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