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Dear reader,
What is measles?
Abertawe Bro Morgannwg
University Health Board and
its partners wanted to
provide school staff with an
update on the measles
outbreak currently centred
on the Swansea area.
Measles is a highly infectious viral illness
This information sheet will
provide details of cases and
spread of measles in the
area, the actions that ABMU
LHB and its partners
including the Local
Education Authority and
individual schools have
taken to combat the spread
of infection and the next
steps to slow down and
control the outbreak.
around 4 days after the cold like
On the reverse there are
also some frequently asked
questions which you may
find useful for you, your
colleagues, families and
Dr Sara Hayes
Director of Public Health
caught through direct contact with an
infected person or through the air via
droplets from coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cold-like
symptoms, fatigue, conjunctivitis and a
distinctive red-brown rash which starts
Current Situation
There are currently over 700 cases of
measles associated with this outbreak.
The epicentre of the outbreak continues
to be the Swansea area but there are
cases in the two other ABM localities,
Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend.
The outbreak shows no signs of going
away as there were 73 new cases in just
two days during the second week of the
Easter holiday.
Actions taken
There have previously
been ad hoc vaccination
sessions held in some
During the Easter break
community drop in
vaccination sessions were
held in 4 locations (2 in
Swansea, 1 in NPT and 1in
Bridgend) on two
consecutive weekends.
These were extremely
successful with 1700
vaccinations given during
the first session.
These sessions will be
followed by vaccination
sessions in high schools
who have not already had
them, starting in Swansea,
moving to NPT then
The best way to protect
against measles is through
2 MMR vaccinations –
anyone born after 1970
who has not had either
measles infection or 2
MMR vaccinations should
be vaccinated.
Frequently Asked Questions - MMR and Measles
What are the symptoms of measles?
Symptoms include fever, cold-like symptoms, fatigue, conjunctivitis and a distinctive
red-brown rash.
2. What do I do if I see a pupil with these symptoms?
If you see a pupil with a cold and a red-brown rash on their face, then they need to
go home with advice to contact their GP.
3. If measles is so wide spread, am I at risk of catching it from a pupil?
Measles is only spread to those who are susceptible to it so if you have had measles
disease or 2 MMR vaccinations you are not at risk of catching it. If you have not or
cannot remember and were born after 1970 then you should check with your GP, but
if in doubt get vaccinated either at your GP, at a community drop in centre or at the
school vaccination session.
4. Why 1970?
That’s the date before which we know that measles was circulating widely and the
vast majority of people born before this time would have been exposed to and had
the disease.
5. Can adults be vaccinated with MMR?
Yes, the MMR vaccine can be given to individuals of any age over 6 months.
6. How many MMR vaccinations should a child/adult have?
In order to ensure maximum protection against measles you should have 2 MMR
injections. Both these injections are identical but one dose will only provide 90%
protection. If both vaccinations have been received there is 99% protection.
7. Will I get both at school?
No, schools will only be providing one vaccination. If this is the first dose, it is
important that you visit your GP at least four weeks later in order to receive the
second dose. If the vaccine provided by the School is the second dose then no
further MMR vaccinations are needed.
8. What if I have 3 or 4 doses of the MMR vaccine?
It will do you no harm. Only two are needed to provide 99% protection but if in
doubt of whether you have previously been vaccinated have the two doses.
9. What happens if I have an allergic reaction to the vaccine?
This would be very unusual but the vaccine is given by qualified and trained
professionals who would be able to deal with any reaction.
10.What should I do if I think myself or a family member has got measles?
You need to make contact with your GP but it is advised that you telephone them
before attending so that arrangements can be made in advance for minimising
contact with other patients.
11.What is the treatment for measles?
There is no specific treatment for measles. Treatments are aimed at relieving the
symptoms. Antibiotics are not effective as measles is caused by a virus.
12.If I contract measles how long should I stay off work?
Children/adults should stay off school/work for 4 days after the rash first appeared.
13.Should pregnant women be excluded from settings such as schools during a
measles outbreak?
There are currently no recommendations from excluding women from such settings.
Further information can be found at;