Thursday 26 April 2018

Warning issued as five more people infected with measles

The main symptoms of measles are fever, rash, cough, runny nose and inflammation of the eye. Picture posed. Stock Image
The main symptoms of measles are fever, rash, cough, runny nose and inflammation of the eye. Picture posed. Stock Image

Eilish O’Regan

Another five people have been diagnosed with measles bringing the toll with the disease to seven in just a week.

The HSE revealed today that it is spreading within the community, affecting north Dublin city mostly but also county Meath.

A HSE spokeswoman said: ”The HSE is aware that children with measles have attended various GP surgeries in Meath and Dublin and the emergency departments of some Dublin paediatric hospitals while they were infectious.

“As a result of this, there is an increased risk of exposure to measles among people who attended such healthcare services from Thursday October 19 onwards.

“As measles is now circulating in the community, it is important that everyone be aware of the possible risk of spread whenever groups of people gather."

Dr John Cuddihy, Acting Assistant National Director for Health Protection said “measles can be a serious illness and is highly contagious. The best protection is to be fully vaccinated with two doses of MMR vaccine.”

A spokeswoman said the measles outbreak control team continues to investigate and advise on measures to control the further spread of this potentially serious illness.

“Alerts regarding measles have been sent to all emergency departments and GPs in the affected areas. Work is ongoing in identifying close contacts of cases who are being notified and advised by public health doctors."

She said pregnant women who have not had the MMR vaccine who have been exposed to measles should seek medical advice.

“If you have symptoms suggestive of measles you should stay at home, not go to school or work and phone your GP and explain that you may have measles."

People who have not been fully vaccinated with MMR vaccine or have not had measles in the past are at high risk of getting measles if exposed.

Those most at risk of catching measles are children and adults who are not fully vaccinated with two doses of MMR vaccine such as babies aged 5- 12 months who are too young to be routinely vaccinated and children and adults with weakened immune systems.

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