Friday 23 February 2018

Measles vaccine 'as important as passport' due to big outbreak

Warning: Dr Kevin Kelleher. Picture: Arthur Carron/Collins
Warning: Dr Kevin Kelleher. Picture: Arthur Carron/Collins
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

Holidaymakers travelling to mainland Europe are being warned to ensure they are vaccinated against measles, following an outbreak of at least 38 cases of the illness here since May.

Dr Kevin Kelleher, consultant in public health with the HSE, warned obtaining the vaccine is "as important as having your passport" before taking a trip.

The doctor said in some places in Europe, measles is still endemic. He said one in 100 people who got the illness ended up in intensive care, while one in 1,000 died.

Particular concern has been raised in the areas of north Cork and Tipperary - where a person was recently diagnosed with the illness.

"This case is still part of a whole group of cases that we've been speaking about for the past two or three months.

"It just shows how the chain can go on. So this is, unfortunately, somebody else who has been exposed and now has the disease," Dr Kelleher told RTE's Morning Ireland.

"And unfortunately then themselves, whilst they didn't really realise they had measles, were out and about and we're trying to get people to know about that," he added.

The doctors said the infected person was in a number of places at the end of July, including SuperValu and the Living Health Clinic in Mitchelstown and around Clonmel for a few days.

He said anyone who feels unwell should not go into heavily populated places and should get advice from their GP in the first instance.

Symptoms of measles include red, irritated eyes, a runny nose and a fever. A rash can develop after around four days.

Irish Independent

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