Sunday 18 August 2019

Warning issued as 17 adults and children infected with measles in latest outbreak

Most cases reported in north Dublin

Health officials warn the public to check they are fully immunised against measles
Health officials warn the public to check they are fully immunised against measles
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

The number of children and adults infected with measles during the latest outbreak has risen to seventeen, most of whom are in north Dublin.

Five of the patients are from Meath, the HSE said today.

A spokeswoman said the Measles Outbreak Control Team continues to investigate the measles cases and has repeated advice on the measures to control the further spread of this potentially serious illness.

“Alerts regarding measles have been sent to all Emergency Departments and GPs in Dublin, and Meath. Work is ongoing in identifying close contacts of cases who are being notified and advised by Public Health,” she said.

Dr Deirdre Mulholland, Director of Public Health for HSE East, said “measles can be a serious illness and is highly contagious.

“The best protection is to be fully vaccinated with 2 doses of MMR vaccine.

“The HSE advises that everyone should be aware of the possible risk of spread of measles whenever groups of people gather and particularly when attending healthcare services such as GPs or Emergency Departments.”

  • All children should get the MMR vaccine when they are aged 12 months. If any child aged over 12 months has missed this vaccine they should get it now from their General Practitioner (GP).
  • All children should get a second dose of MMR vaccine when they are 4-5 years old or in Junior Infants at school. If any child in Senior Infants or older has missed this vaccine they should get it now from their GP.
  • Adults under 40 years who have not had measles or have not received 2 doses of MMR vaccine should contact their GP to get the MMR vaccine.

The HSE spokeswoman advised people who have measles:

  • Do not go to work, school or crèche.
  • Stay at home and phone your GP. Tell the doctor or nurse that you think you might have measles.
  • Stop visitors coming to the house to prevent the spread of measles.
  • Pregnant women who have been exposed to measles should seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Measles is highly contagious and is spread easily. The time between exposure to measles and developing the rash is usually 14 days (range 7-21 days). People are infectious from 4 days before rash starts until 4 days after.

Measles symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red eyes
  • Red rash that starts on head and spread 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 4-7 days.
  • Vomiting, diarrhoea and tummy pain may also happen.

Measles can cause chest infections, fits, ear infections, swelling of the brain and brain damage.

Measles is a notifiable disease and GPs and hospital clinicians should immediately notify public health if they suspect someone has measles.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News