Public Health Wales is urging people to be ‘rash aware’ after notification of two cases of measles in people with links to the Workhouse Festival held in North Powys between 8 and 10 July.
People are being urged to phone their 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, women who are pregnant, and those with weak immunize symptoms for around 10 days after symptoms start.
Measles is a serious and highly contagious viral disease that can cause complications and can even prove fatal. The illness starts with cold or flu-like symptoms, followed by a rash after 2-4 days.
Crowds of people provide the perfect environment for infectious diseases like measles to circulate, but two doses of the safe and effective MMR vaccine offers protection.
Dr Christopher Johnson, Acting Consultant in Health Protection for Public Health Wales, said: “We know both these cases attended the festival and are therefore asking anyone else who attended to be aware of the symptoms of measles.
“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.
“Measles is highly contagious so we are asking people who think they may have the symptoms to telephone ahead before attending for medical advice.
“We are already aware of cases of measles in Wales linked to another music festival and while they can be a fun part of the summer it is important if you are planning on attending to ensure you are protected.
“If you have not received two doses of MMR and attend large events where hundreds of people are present, you are at risk of contracting measles. People around you may not have any symptoms, but could still be infectious.
“We’re urging anyone planning to attend a festival or large gathering of people to check if they have received the MMR vaccine. Vaccination is free on the NHS by arranging an appointment with your GP, and it’s never too late to catch up on missed doses.”
Children should receive their first dose of the vaccine at 12 months of age and the second at around three years and four years of age, but older children and adults can receive the vaccination at any time.