Measles outbreak hits Wales, 190 infections confirmed since November

Parents in South Wales are being encouraged to give their children the MMR vaccine after an outbreak of approximately 190 confirmed cases of the childhood illness.

Public Health Wales is investigating the outbreak, which is centered around Swansea and Neath Port Talbot. Public health officials have confirmed 189 cases in the area since November, according to

Cases have been seen in 32 secondary and primary schools, as well as nurseries in the area. Twenty cases were confirmed in the last week.

Public Health Wales said that the only protection against the potentially deadly illness is receiving two doses of the MMR vaccine. Parents of all children aged one to 18 who are not fully vaccinated are being told to contact their doctor for advice and to arrange vaccination as soon as possible.

"We continue to be concerned at the number of cases of measles we are seeing in the Swansea and Neath-Port Talbot areas," Dr. Marion Lyons, the director of health protection, said, reports. "We cannot emphasize enough that measles is an illness that can kill, or leave patients with permanent complications including severe brain damage, and the only protection is two doses of the MMR vaccination.

"As children have been admitted to hospital because of this outbreak of measles we fear it is only a matter of time before someone dies or is left permanently affected by measles."