MANY of us considered measles to be a thing of the past and were quite surprised at the recent news of an outbreak in the Swansea area.

Measles is a particularly nasty viral infection that can lead to complications, including pneumonia and in extreme cases swelling of the brain.

Parents in particular should be aware of the importance of having their children vaccinated.

This is the only effective way of protecting your child from the virus, one dose of vaccine makes your child 90 per cent resistant to the virus and two doses makes them 99 per cent resistant.

The vaccine is free of charge and you can arrange for a vaccination simply by calling your GP.

I am aware there were a series of scare stories many years ago regarding the jab but these were subsequently found to be unfounded, whereas the risk of measles is clear.

If your child has measles you should call the doctor informing the surgery of your concerns.

The doctor can then make provision to see your child while taking steps to ensure the virus does not spread. It goes without saying that you should keep your child away from school or nursery.

Blackwood High Street lost a well-known face this month when Poundstretcher burnt down.

My first reaction like yours, was relief that no one was hurt or worse.

I have written to the company however to seek reassurances about the staff and their continued presence in Blackwood.

I was delighted the store made a statement saying they hope to be back as soon as possible.

In these days of austerity positive news is rare, so the reopening of Aberbargoed library, by mayor Michael Gray, was really good news.

I along with the two ward councillors, Keith Reynolds and Alun Higgs, opposed the original decision to close the library and I have to congratulate Keith and Alun and the residents of Aberbargoed, for the way they have fought to ensure people have access to this fantastic facility.

Libraries can make a real difference to people’s lives, helping old and young alike to access books and to develop a love of reading that will remain with them always.