THERE have been two additional detections of measles in Limerick, bringing the total number of cases to 12, the HSE has announced.
The HSE confirmed this after announcing a second outbreak in Limerick city last Wednesday and two weeks after the initial outbreak.
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, since the first confirmed outbreak on January 31, has ran two free MMR vaccine clinics in the city.
“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.”