HSE confirms further cases of measles

Tuesday, 21st June 2016

HSE Public Health Departments and the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) are currently investigating an ongoing measles outbreak in different parts of Ireland. Outbreak control teams have been convened in HSE East, South and Midwest.  Thirty confirmed measles cases have been identified to date, 22 of which are in Kerry.   All cases have occurred in individuals under 30 years of age, with six  cases in children under one year.   

It is believed that the source of infection most likely came from another European country where measles outbreaks are occurring. 

Most of those who have been infected as a result of this outbreak did not know that they had been in contact with measles.   It is also known that most had not received the MMR (Measles- Mumps- Rubella) vaccine.

In drawing particular attention to this outbreak, the HSE, according to Dr. Fiona Ryan, Consultant in Public Health said they were “looking to raise public awareness around the signs and symptoms of the condition and ensure that anyone with concerns addresses them immediately in order to receive a rapid diagnosis.  This in turn allows the HSE HPSC Public Health teams to be fully responsive and in a position to implement all necessary control measures.”  

Dr Ryan stressed that “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 so too young to be vaccinated), and those with weakened immune systems if exposed.

The following areas have been identified as places where individuals confirmed with measles have been while infectious in the past couple of months

Place where person with measles was while infectious

When

HSE South (Kerry)

Ballyheigue, Dingle, Killarney, Milltown and Tralee

Mid April – June

Risk is on-going in these areas as new cases are still occurring

University Hospital Kerry, ED and Paediatric Ward

HSE East: Dublin Area

Dublin

Last week in April

Dublin Airport

16th May Dublin (pm evening )

Ryanair Flight FR 7313 Zadar-Dublin

16th May

16:30-18:35

LUAS: Ranelagh - Sandyford

Dublin Bus: Route 114

DART: Blackrock to Pearse Street

Dublin Bus: 61 or 44 City Centre - Ranelagh

26th May

AM

PM

HSE Midwest

West Limerick ( University Hospital Limerick)

Limerick City

Dublin Coach: Limerick - Tralee

Last weekend May (27th - 29th May)

Early to mid May

18th May (early am)

HSE West and Northwest

Ballina, Mayo

Enniscrone, Sligo

Last weekend May (27th - 29th)

Last weekend May (27th - 29th)

HSE Northwest

Dundalk, Louth

29th - 31st May

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

 

Recommendations          

  • The best way to protect against measles is to get the MMR vaccine. Any adult born since 1978 should have received two doses to prevent Measles
  • All children should get MMR at 12 months of age and the second dose at 4-5 years of age.
  • Any child who missed their scheduled MMR vaccine dose should contact their GP to get the age appropriate dose.  

If anyone develops measles symptoms, they should 

  • Stay at home and phone their GP
  • Tell the doctor or nurse that they think they might have measles
  • Stop visitors coming to the house to prevent spreading the infection

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

More information on measles is located here.

 

Last updated on: 21 / 06 / 2016