A MEASLES outbreak has been declared in Wales.
Seven children across Cardiff have been confirmed as having the highly infectious disease over the past six weeks, the authorities confirmed.
Public Health Wales (PHW) has urged parents to protect their children by ensuring they are up to date with the MMR jabs.
Sion Lingard, consultant in health protection for PHW, said all seven cases have been linked.
He added: "While there is currently no evidence of wider community transmission, measles is an extremely contagious infection, and we are concerned that people who are not protected by vaccination could be at risk."
He said further cases were expected in the following weeks and urged adults who had never had measles or the MMR vaccine and are in close contact with children to speak to their GP about vaccination.
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MMR vaccination uptake is at a 12-year low, separate figure show, and cases of the bug are surging globally.
This year, only 85 per cent of five-year-olds are fully vaccinated with the MMR jab, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella.
At least 95 per cent of people need to be vaccinated for herd immunity, according to the World Health Organisation.
Measles is a highly infectious disease, spreading quickly from person to person, especially in schools.
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It can sometimes cause pneumonia or even death in the most serious cases.
It is so contagious that a child who has it will infect up to nine out of 10 children around them if not protected by a jab.
PHW said it was never too late to catch up on vaccines.
The first dose of MMR is usually given to babies at 12 months and the second just after three years of age.
Anyone can catch up on missed injections for free at any age.
ARE OTHER AREAS AFFECTED?
The Notification of Infectious Diseases report (NOIDS), which tracks suspected infectious disease cases in England and Wales, showed cases were rising across both England and Wales.
There were 451 suspected infections between July and October 22 – over double the 204 cases seen during the same period in 2022. the government data revealed.
Its most recent update showed there were 27 cases of measles in the week ending October 22, four of which came from Wales.
London appears to be one of the hardest hit areas in the UK – with seven positive tests so far.
What the are the symptoms of measles?
MEASLES usually begins with cold-like symptoms.
- a high temperature
- a runny or blocked nose
- a cough
- red, sore, watery eyes
Small white spots may appear inside the cheeks and on the back of the lips a few days later. These spots usually last a few days.
A blotchy red rash usually appears a few days after the cold-like symptoms. It starts on the face and behind the ears before moving to the rest of the body.
It usually clears in seven to 10 days but can lead to other serious complications.
Severe complications can occur, including miscarriage in pregnant women, brain swelling and the risk of death from pneumonia.
It's very unlikely to be measles if you've had both doses of the MMR vaccine or you've had measles before.
But it you think you or your child could have measles ask for an urgent GP appointment or get help from NHS 111.
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