Sunday 21 October 2018

HSE warning as patients with measles present at hospitals

Anyone showing symptoms of measles is being warned to stay at home and phone their GP. It comes after an adult and child attended four hospitals in the capital while at their most contagious. (stock photo)
Anyone showing symptoms of measles is being warned to stay at home and phone their GP. It comes after an adult and child attended four hospitals in the capital while at their most contagious. (stock photo)

Laura Lynott

Anyone showing symptoms of measles is being warned to stay at home and phone their GP.

It comes after an adult and child attended four hospitals in the capital while at their most contagious.

The two patients, believed to be foreign nationals living in Dublin, attended Tallaght Hospital on July 1, then again on July 5. They then presented at the Mater Hospital on July 7, Temple Street Children's Hospital on July 13 and again on July 15 and 16.

Finally they visited Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, on July 16.

The HSE instructed that children aged from six months to 11 months, who are travelling abroad, including to regions where measles outbreaks are reported, should be administered the MMR vaccine.

"A dose given before 12 months of age does not replace the dose that would normally be given at 12 months of age," a HSE spokeswoman said.

Asked about the incident, sparking concern across four different hospitals, she said: "The HSE cannot comment on the management of any individual patient's care or treatment."

Measles has led to 31 deaths across Europe this year.

Most of the cases in the EU have been reported in Romania, France, Greece, and Italy.

"It's important that the public are aware of the symptoms and risks relating to measles.

"Measles can be a serious illness and is highly infectious," the HSE spokeswoman said.

"The best protection is to be fully vaccinated with two doses of the MMR vaccine.

"Currently the HSE is aware the two measles cases attended the healthcare settings while they were most infectious.

"Please do not contact the hospitals if you think you may have come into contact with a case of measles. Seek advice from your GP if you become unwell."

The HSE said most people who get measles on holiday don't realise they have been exposed until they develop the disease.

Two measles cases were brought to Dublin after the adult and child had returned home from a trip to mainland Europe.

People have been instructed not to attend work and not to send children to school or to crèches if they are suffering symptoms, to tell a GP or nurse over the phone they may be suffering measles and to prevent visitors coming to their home.

Pregnant women who fear they have been exposed to measles have been told to seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Measles symptoms include a high fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, and a red rash that starts on the head and spreads down the body - this normally starts a few days after onset of illness.

The rash consists of flat red or brown blotches, which can flow into each other.

It lasts about four to seven days.

Vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain may also occur.

Irish Independent

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