Parents warned to act over measles epidemic
Published 04/08/2011 | 05:00
PARENTS have been warned to make sure their children are immunised against measles as the disease sweeps Europe. More than 21,000 cases and seven deaths have been recorded across the continent so far this year.
And 110 cases of the sometimes-fatal disease have been reported in Ireland -- 79pc of these were in the HSE East region.
"People may have forgotten how serious the measles can be," the head of the HSE National Immunisation Office, Dr Brenda Corcoran said.
"It is a highly infectious disease and some people will die, unfortunately."
Nearly half of all measles cases this year occurred in people who were eligible for vaccination but had not received any dose of the MMR vaccine.
The last major outbreak of measles in this country happened during 2000 to 2001, amid falling vaccination rates caused by the now discredited information linking the MMR vaccine to autism.
"Many parents chose not to get their children vaccinated and the uptake rates dropped," said Dr Corcoran.
She added: "We have had a number of cases this year and the majority of those cases have had no vaccine."