THE HEALTH Service Executive (HSE) has written to patients who “may be at risk of infection”, after confirming a case of measles in Limerick.
In a statement by the HSE’s department of public health, it said that the Shannondoc in Dooradoyle and the emergency department at University Hospital Limerick were at “risk of exposure" between January 4 and January 9.
The HSE said: “Anyone who has been exposed and is not immune to measles (either through natural infection or MMR vaccination) may develop measles up to three weeks following date of exposure.
“Measles is highly contagious and is spread easily. The time between exposure to measles and developing the rash is usually 14 days (range seven to 21 days). People are infectious from 4 days before rash starts until four days after.”
It said that there was a risk of exposure at the Shannondoc in Dooradoyle, on Thursday, January 4, between 8.40pm and 11.50pm; and on Sunday, January 7, between 1.30pm and 4pm.
The HSE said that there was a risk of exposure at Zone A of the new emergency department on Sunday, January 7, between 2pm and 12.30am; and Tuesday, January 9, between 11am and 1pm.
Measles symptoms include high fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, red rash that starts on head and spread down the body, the rash consists of flat red or brown blotches, which can flow into each other; vomiting, diarrhoea and tummy pain may also happen.
“The best protection against measles is to be fully vaccinated with 2 doses of the MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) vaccine. All children should get MMR at 12 months of age and the second dose at 4-5 years of age. If your child missed their scheduled MMR vaccine dose you should contact your GP to get the age appropriate dose.
“People most at risk of catching measles are those who either have not had measles infection in the past or are not fully vaccinated with 2 doses of MMR vaccine such as babies younger than 12 months who are too young to be vaccinated, and those with weakened immune systems,” the HSE said.