People are being reminded of the importance of the MMR vaccine after a fourth case of measles in Wales.
Measles is a serious and highly contagious viral disease that can cause complications and can even prove fatal.
In the last month there have been four cases across Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Powys, one of which was hospitalized.
Two doses of the safe and effective MMR vaccine offers protection and anyone who hasn’t had the vaccine is urged to get it free from their GP.
Dr Christopher Johnson, Acting Consultant in Health Protection for Public Health Wales, said: “People may not think measles is serious but it is extremely easily spread and can even prove fatal.
“There is a vaccination program for babies and toddlers but older children and adults can receive the vaccination at any time from their GP.
“If you are not sure if you have had your MMR speak to your GP and ensure you protect yourself, your family and vulnerable members of the community such as babies who are too young to have the vaccine.
“Children should receive their first dose of the vaccine at 12 months of age and the second at around three years and four months of age. However we know in some areas vaccinations rates are dropping and I would urge any parent to prioritize the vaccination for their baby and any other members of the family who may not be protected.”
Many people who catch measles will have a fever, cough, red eyes, and blocked nose and feel generally unwell. The blotchy rash appears a few days later beginning on the face and spreading downwards to the rest of the body over several days.
It is also important if you think you may have measles to phone your GP or local hospital before attending if they, or their child, have a rash-like illness. Those with symptoms are asked not to socialize with children, or other vulnerable individuals including infants, pregnant women, and those with a weakened immune system for around 10 days after symptoms start.