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Cluster of new measles cases emerge

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Health chiefs are looking at four new measles cases in a renewed outbreak of the virus in a region hit by a major epidemic just three months ago.

Two cases of the potentially deadly illness have already been confirmed in South Wales, bringing the current total to nine. The latest outbreak comes three months after the end of the epidemic in the greater Swansea area, the biggest outbreak of the virus ever to hit Wales.

More than 1,200 people contracted measles, 88 serious enough to visit hospital, and one person died in the outbreak which began in November last year.

A spokesman for Public Health Wales said the latest cluster of cases have been reported in young people who have a connection with Cwmtawe School in Port Talbot.

An urgent immunisation session took place at the secondary school last week after it emerged that more than 200 pupils were not fully protected. Many youngsters given the MMR vaccine during the previous outbreak had failed to have the necessary follow up “booster” jab which gives maximum protection

Public Health Wales is urging parents to ensure their children are given the second MMR “booster” jab.

Public Health Wales consultant in communicable disease control Dr Jorg Hoffmann said: “According to health records one case had received a single measles vaccine but none had had any doses of the MMR vaccine.

“This again demonstrates the importance of getting your children vaccinated with two doses of MMR which is needed to provide the maximum 99 per cent protection against measles, mumps and rubella.”

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