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Welsh measles outbreak spreading at ‘alarming rate’



Parents in Wales have been urged to take their children to their GP to get the MMR jab, if they have not had it yet, after the number of cases in an outbreak centred on Swansea soared to 432.

Cases have doubled in the past three weeks, up from just over 200 at the beginning of March, with 116 cases reported in the past week alone, Public Health Wales reported.

The latest figures have heightened concerns that unvaccinated children are increasingly likely to come into contact with the virus. Cases are expected to continue to rise for some time yet and could reach 1,000 by the end of April.

Dr Marion Lyons, director of health protection at Public Health Wales, said: ‘Measles is now spreading at an alarming rate across areas of Wales. Worryingly there are still tens of thousands of susceptible children across Wales, yet our weekly monitoring of vaccination rates shows only a slight increase in numbers receiving MMR jabs.

‘If the numbers of parents bringing their children for MMR jabs does not dramatically increase, measles will continue to spread and quickly reach levels last seen in the outbreak in Dublin in 1999/2000. In that outbreak over 1,200 children were infected and three died.’