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First measles death suspected in Swansea

By SWEPnino  |  Posted: April 19, 2013

First measles death suspected in Swansea

Parents queued to get their children the MMR jab at Morriston Hospital last week.

Comments (24)

A 25-year-old man from Swansea has died from suspected measles - and health officials have warned there could be more fatalities.

The body of the man, who has been named locally as Gareth Colfer-Williams, was discovered by a relative at 9.30am yesterday at his home in the Port Tennant area of the city .

Public Health Wales has confirmed they are investigating whether measles was the cause of death.

Dr Marion Lyons, Director of Health Protection said: “Public Health Wales is aware of a death being investigated by the Swansea Coroner. A diagnosis of measles has not yet been confirmed. “Testing the deceased for measles is forming part of the investigations being overseen by the Coroner.

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“My sympathies are with the family at such a tragic time. Whatever the cause of death in this case, we should not be surprised if, as the outbreak grows, we start to see deaths in Wales.

“Measles is a potentially fatal disease and around one in every 1,000 people who contracts measles in developed countries will die.

“We continue to work to end the current outbreak of measles, which is centred on the Swansea area, and which has now passed 800 cases.”

A post mortem is due to be carried out later today.

The man’s landlord, Dave Simpson, said: “I didn’t know him very well, but he seemed a lovely man.”

The death comes as the latest figures for Swansea show the cases have rocketed to 808 - with an extra 43 cases being reported since Tuesday.

Extra clinics are again being held at hospitals this weekend, with health officials now expecting a rush of parents and children wanting the jab.

Health workers are due at Cwmtawe School in Pontardawe today to immunise hundred of children.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, a total of 77 people have been hospitalised because of the contagious disease.

Many of those being treated are babies and teenagers, with the latter said to be most at risk.

St Thomas councillor Clive Lloyd, whose ward includes Port Tennant, said: "I am absolutely shocked. My initial thoughts are with the family, and I am devastated for them".

A South Wales Police spokesman said: “We are investigating the sudden and unexplained death of a 25 year old man whose body was discovered in Port Tennant, Swansea at about on Thursday April 18.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious. Officers are awaiting the results of a post mortem examination.

“The next of kin and HM Coroner have been informed.”

Read more from South Wales Evening Post

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24 comments

  • Murmur  |  April 21 2013, 10:08AM

    Sorry Ewen, but I do not see how challenging ludicrous assertions is disrespectful. John SW4: quoting Mercola and Natural News does not help your case. Mercola is a quack and Natural News wouldn't know real evidence if it smacked them upside the head. OK, a couple of questions for those who insist on a link between vaccines and autism and then I shall leave it: How did Kanner, Asperger, Bettelheim and the like do their work on autism BEFORE vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella were introduced? How did Lorna Wing define Asperger's Syndrome before the widespread introduction of such vaccines and certainly before MMR? Explain Japan. Use of Mercola, Natural News, Age of Autism, whale.to and the like results in automatic disqualification: I am talking about proper scientific evidence here!

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  • Jiffy  |  April 20 2013, 4:45PM

    This unfortunate death is being discussed at length across the country in all the mainstream media. Attempts to stop this discussion are pointless and not very sensible. Are we going to ignore any event where someone dies or is seriously hurt? If readers are unhappy with the discussion - they can choose not to read it. A choice that is open to the family of the deceased.

    |   4
  • EwenM  |  April 20 2013, 11:37AM

    John, Murmur: A bit of respect please; could you take this discussion somewhere else? How about this report on the timeline of the outbreak: http://tinyurl.com/d5h8d2l ?

    |   -2
  • MsScarlet  |  April 20 2013, 11:03AM

    The poor man did have 'other health problems including asthma' - maybe it would have been helpful for the media to have waited for confirmation of actual cause of death before attributing it to measles immediately.

    |   -5
  • JohnSW4  |  April 20 2013, 10:42AM
    |   -7
  • Murmur  |  April 20 2013, 9:51AM

    JohnSW4: I don't claim to be "an expert", only that I have worked in one of the relevant fields for a long time and read much of the relevant research, oh, and spoken to many, many parents of autistic children and I have yet to hear any of them describe that sort of catastrophic decline following vaccination (if we are trading anecdata). Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder; signs of problems with development cannot, by definition, be picked up prior to the point one would expect a child to have reached a certain stage of development; some of the social aspects of development coincide with the timing of vaccination; correlation does not equal causation.

    |   12
  • Mami2Rhys  |  April 19 2013, 6:33PM

    Hi, I just wanted to say that it is very sad that such a young man has lost his life,at 25 he is just a bit younger than me. I don't think the MMR argument has any place here because as had been mentioned in a previous post his family could read this and suffer more anguish and distress. Nothing has been confirmed yet by the coroner so why this story has said it is a measles related death is beyond me, because this just seems like a bit of scare mongering without actual confirmation on cause of death. Rest in peace young man, my sympathies are with your family and friends.

    |   3
  • Mami2Rhys  |  April 19 2013, 6:30PM

    Hi, I just wanted to say that it is very sad that such a young man has lost his life,at 25 he is just a bit younger than me. I don't think the MMR argument has any place here because as had been mentioned in a previous post his family could read this and suffer more anguish and distress. Nothing has been confirmed yet by the coroner so why this story has said it is a measles related death is beyond me, because this just seems like a bit of scare mongering without actual confirmation on cause of death. Rest in peace young man, my sympathies are with your family and friends.

    |   1
  • JohnSW4  |  April 19 2013, 4:32PM

    by Murmur How do I know the above? I have worked in child and adolescent mental health for 25 years..." You have made out you are an expert so I must assume you have witnessed the immediate deterioration of a fit articulated laughing child into the unresponsive crying 24 out of 24 and being unable to sleep! If you have not witnessed this then even if you have worked with adolescent mental health for 100 year then you know nothing! You see only the parents have witnessed it! There are thousands of statements from all over the world all saying how their child reacted to immunizations it would be impossible for all those parents to have concocted the same reactions to it not just the MMR but also other immunizations like chicken pox jab where the pharmas are already paying out !

    |   -24
  • Swanseagurl  |  April 19 2013, 3:55PM

    Have a bit of respect for this mans family, your all arguing over the MMR vaccine when this mans family may be reading this. His mother cold be reading this and maybe regretting a decision she made many years ago in the best interest of her child regarding the vaccine. If you want to have a discussion on the vaccine and why many people chose to not immunise their child do it on another article not on here where his family may be reading.

    |   10

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