Cardiff currently has largest outbreak of suspected measles in all of England and Wales
Cardiff Uni is urging students to make sure they’re up to date on their vaccinations
Cardiff has the most suspected cases of measles across the both England and Wales.
Public Health Wales (PHW) declared an outbreak of measles in Cardiff last week and has urged those who aren’t vaccinated to speak to their GPs.
The disease is more common amongst children but there have been confirmed cases of measles at Cardiff University in the past.
According to the University of Brighton: “University can be a hotspot for infections because students spend a lot of time with each other in confined environments such as halls.
“Some students of university age may also have missed their MMR when they were younger as uptake was as low as 80 per cent in 2003.”
There has been twice as many suspected cases of the infection this year than in the year before, says the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). The UKHSA were aware of 137 suspected cases just in the last five weeks. This includes 30 cases in London, 20 in Wales, 19 cases in the West Midlands and 18 in the North West.
Cardiff specifically has had eight suspected cases, which is the most of any UK city. Following closely behind is Birmingham with six cases.
“A devastating resurgence of virtually eliminated life-threatening diseases, such as measles” is now happening in the UK, says the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).
RCPCH President Dr Camilla Kingdon says this resurgence is due to Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine having “low uptake figures”.
PHW released a statement, saying: “Measles symptoms include a distinctive red or brown rash that may be more difficult to see on darker skin.
“The rash follows a fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes (conjunctivitis), and children with these symptoms should be kept home from school, nursery or other childcare settings, and away from vulnerable people.
“The rash typically starts on the head and spreads down the body.”
Cardiff University released information on its intranet notifying students of the outbreak. It explains that students should stay away from university and social events if they develop symptoms.
The university also advises students and staff to make sure they are all up to date with vaccinations, and if they are not to contact their GP.
If you aren’t registered with a GP in Cardiff, there is advice on how to register here.