Early indications suggest that the number of measles cases in the Swansea area are slowing down; however, it is difficult to predict when the outbreak will be over as there are significant proportions of people in Wales – mainly in the 10-18 years age group - who remain unvaccinated. Concerns have also now been raised about the number of susceptible people in the Gwent area, as well as other parts of Wales.
To prevent the spread of the disease, the Welsh Government's response has been to focus efforts on encouraging young people who have missed out for whatever reason to have the MMR vaccine. Considerable numbers of children have received the vaccine in Wales since March 2013, with Public Health Wales reporting that over 52,000 doses of MMR have been given to people of all ages in Wales. The following webpage provides a link to the most recent published data by Public Health Wales on the measles outbreak in Wales: Measles outbreak: data. It includes statistics on the number of notified cases since the start of the outbreak in November 2012 to date, as well as vaccination data on uptake. Data is available by Health Board and Local Authority. Questions are now being asked about the causes of the current outbreak and the response to it; what future actions will be taken to prevent or mitigate a re-occurrence? As well as the plenary debate on measles on 11 June 2013, the National Assembly’s Health and Social Care Committee will be looking at this in early July.
Article writen by Sarah Hatherley, National Assembly for Wales Research Service. Image source: Image from Flickr by hitthatswitch. Licenced under the Creative Commons