Experts are afraid that a measles epidemic that has already affected 700 children might continue to get worse for one more month. The childhood disease can cause many long term health issues including eye disorders, brain damage, and deafness. In extreme cases it can also cause death.
Health officials are concerned that children between the ages of 10 to 17 are not properly being immunised and added that in South Wales where the measles have been spreading there are 6,000 children that have not received the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine that can prevent from the disease being contracted.
Ian Millington, a Swansea GP, stated that the measles epidemic around Swansea was a real cause for concern and he expects to see numbers continue to increase. He warned that the peak may not actually be reached for another month explaining that it will not be slowing down for at least a few weeks because of the long incubation period of the disease.
Millington did state that in four weeks they will be very disappointed if they do not see a change in the contraction rate. He added that an immunisation programme will continue to be in place at local schools in an aim to get unaffected children properly immunised to prevent the further spread of the measles.
However, he did warn that as children head back into class there will be a higher rate of infection because children will be mixing with a large group of other children. Public Health Wales is also attempting to educate parents on the epidemic stating that parents should make sure to immediately vaccinate their children to protect them against any disease. Dr Marion Lyons from the PHW stated that they are very concerned with the fact that the outbreak does not have a clear sign of ending.