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Measles cases in Wales continue to rise

More than 600 cases of measles have been reported in Swansea, as the outbreak spreads to other areas.

Public Health Wales said today that cases in the outbreak in Swansea have now reached 620 and that they also had cases reported in Abertawe Bro Morgannwg, Powys and Hywel Dda Health Board areas.

The body estimates that at least 6,000 children remain unvaccinated in Swansea and has urged parents to ensure their children see their GP if they have not had two doses of the MMR vaccine.

Dr Marion Lyons, director of health protection for Public Health Wales, said: ‘The response to the special vaccination clinics held in the Swansea area over the weekend was excellent, with a total of 1,726 children vaccinated.

‘In addition, we know that more than 900 children received non-routine MMR vaccinations in GP surgeries last week.

‘We are delighted to see parents responding so positively to the outbreak and understanding that measles can be a severe illness and two doses of MMR is the only protection.  We need to see this level of response continuing in the coming weeks if we are to bring this outbreak under control.’

The Department of Health said it had no plans yet to change vaccination policy.

A spokesperson said: ‘We have no plans currently to change vaccination policy, especially as the number of young children getting the vaccine is at its highest for more than a decade.  

‘However it is essential that unvaccinated children or those that haven’t had both doses of MMR get fully protected against measles – no matter how old they are or where they live.’