I normally stay well away from controversial subjects as I dislike confrontation. However, I have always felt very passionate about the MMR and parents' responsibility to protect their children through immunisations. I did not spend nine months carefully growing The Boy and go through that labour to bring my child safely into the world, to have his health compromised unnecessarily.
South Wales is currently seeing an epidemic of measles with a huge reach. Until now it's been fairly safely ensconsed around the Swansea area, but today I had an e-mail from The Boy's nursery. Measles is spreading very quickly through the schools in the area as many of the pupils have had their first MMR but not the preschool booster. I wonder if parents think that it is something which only needs to be given once? I know that The Boy should have had his preschool booster around Christmas time (3 years and 4 months), but because of his constant ear infections and low immune system due to repeat courses of antibiotics, I spoke to the nurse and delayed it until around now. He should have had it last week, but we were in Butlins and missed the appointment. Following this alert from his nursery, I will be phoning the GP in the morning to get him 'jabbed' as soon as possible.
The alert from the Health Protection Team for Public Health Wales, states that a few cases have been seen locally. That means it's spreading from Swansea, and they have serious concerns about an outbreak in schools. The alert states that if our children have not had their preschool booster, or (when older) have missed a vaccination, that parents must contact the GP, health visitor or practice nurse to be vaccinated now!
This is the exact wording from the Health Protection Team's alert:
Measles is highly infectious and is spread from person to person by coughs and sneezes. Early symptoms include a cough, cold, high temperature and conjunctivitis (painful, red eyes). A red, blotchy rash appears 3-7 days later which usually begins on the face and spreads down over the rest of the body. The person is usually quite ill and often prefers to lie quietly in a darkened room. Serious complications can occur.
Any child who develops symptoms of measles should not attend school for four days after the start of the rash.
It is not for me to tell you to get your child immunised, but so far there have been 541 cases of measles in south Wales, with 100 of those in the last week alone.
For more information on Measles, please visit the Public Health Wales site here.
The BBC news report can be found here.