Tuesday 20 February 2018

New measles case confirmed in Galway

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Eilish O’Regan

A NEWLY-CONFIRMED case of measles has been confirmed in Galway.

The case is unrelated to the recently reported outbreak, which  occurred mostly in Kerry, and  resulted in 34 confirmed measles cases between April-mid July.

The latest person with measles travelled to Dublin by air on  July 18.

At the time of travel the person was infectious- but did not know it, said the HSE.

The person then travelled from Dublin to Galway by private transport. The case was diagnosed upon arrival in Galway and laboratory testing has confirmed measles infection.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre contacted the airline involved and requested that all fellow passengers on the flight be notified of their possible exposure to measles.

“The alert includes information on signs and symptoms of measles, advice to seek medical attention if they develop measles-like illness and how to prevent spreading the infection to others (by staying at home if ill and contacting GP by phone to arrange consultation so that others are not exposed to measles unnecessarily).”

“There is also a risk that other members of the public may have been unknowingly exposed to measles when this case passed through Dublin airport upon arrival on the afternoon of July 18.”

Public places where members of the public may have been exposed to measles are Dublin airport on June 22, 24 and July 18.

Dr Kevin Kelleher, HSE consultant  in public health said measles is highly infectious, and if cases are isolated early, the risk of transmission to vulnerable individuals decreases.

The time between exposure to the virus and developing measles rash is normally 14 days (range 7-21 days).  People are infectious from 4 days before rash starts until 4 days after.

People who are fully vaccinated with two doses of MMR vaccine are normally protected. Those most at risk are those who are not fully vaccinated with two doses of MMR, babies (younger than 12 months and too young to be vaccinated as part of routine programme), non-immune pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems if exposed.

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