Friday 22 September 2017

Holidaying families warned to get measles jabs

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

IRISH families going on holiday to the UK and mainland Europe have been advised to ensure that their children are vaccinated against measles.

Since the start of the year, there have been outbreaks of measles in Europe, with over 1,300 cases in Wales and 900 in Germany.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) said outbreaks had also been reported in other European countries, including the Netherlands, France and Italy.

"In Ireland, there have been over 30 cases of measles since the start of 2013 – 10 are confirmed and 17 cases are resident in the HSE East region.

"The ages of individuals reported with measles in 2013 range from nine months to 35 years of age; most of the reported measles cases are less than 10 years of age," said the HPSC.

The disease watchdog said the MMR vaccine, which is free, was the only way to protect against measles.

"In Ireland the first dose is given by GPs at 12 months and the second dose at four to five is usually given at school by HSE vaccination teams."

It advised parents of pre-school or primary school children who have never had the MMR vaccine and who are intending to travel to Europe to visit their GP now in order to get the vaccination.

Those who have a primary-school-aged child who missed out on the second dose of MMR vaccine should also get the jab, said the HPSC.

Irish Independent

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