HSE confirms further outbreak of measles in Limerick

Fintan Walsh, Health Correspondent

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh, Health Correspondent

Email:

fintan.walsh@limerickleader.ie

HSE confirms further outbreak of measles in Limerick

THE HSE has confirmed a further outbreak of measles in Limerick this Wednesday afternoon.  

Last Wednesday, the HSE initially announced the measles outbreak, confirming that four cases were detected in Limerick city. 

A further cases of the disease have been detected, bringing the total number to 10 in the city. 

A spokesperson for the HSE said that a number of further possible cases are being investigation. 

An outbreak control team made up of representatives from the HSE are involved in managing the outbreak in an effort to prevent further spread.

“The best protection against measles is to be fully vaccinated with two doses of the MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) vaccine. All children should get MMR at 12 months of age and the second dose at four to five years of age. If your child missed their scheduled MMR vaccine dose you should contact your GP to get the age appropriate dose.

“If people are unsure of their vaccination status they are advised to get an MMR vaccine, as even if they do have 2 doses of MMR a third dose is not harmful.”

The HSE has run a vaccination clinic in the area where cases have been notified and further clinics are planned.

There will be a free MMR clinic in the Southill Health Centre on Friday, February 9 from 10am to 1pm.

“We are calling on those living in the Carew Park and Ballinacurra Weston area of Limerick city to attend.”

Members of the public called on to attend the clinic include parents of children aged between one year to 12 years of age who have not had two doses of MMR vaccine; those parents who  are unsure if their children have had MMR vaccine; adults under the age of 40 years who have never had the MMR vaccine. 

“At this point the only way to prevent the spread of this illness is to ensure vaccination of all those who can be vaccinated. This will also protect vulnerable  people who cannot be vaccinated including infants, pregnant women and those with very suppressed immune systems (e.g. patients undergoing chemotherapy).”

The HSE said that measles symptoms include high fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and red rash that starts on head and spreads 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 four to seven days.

People with symptoms are advised to stay at home from work. Children should not attend school or crèche. They are asked to contact the Department of Public Health at 061 483338 to advise that you think you/your child may have measles. People are also asked to contact their local GP. 

“Patients with symptoms of measles should avoid presenting to the emergency department where possible. If it is necessary to seek urgent care, it is important to inform the ambulance service or emergency department that you have symptoms consistent with measles beforehand so that the appropriate precautions can be taken. Similarly, if you have been in contact with a confirmed case of measles and are seeking medical attention, please inform the healthcare provider before attending.”