A BABY, aged less than 12 months, has been detected with measles as the virus outbreak continues to worsens in Limerick this week.
The HSE has confirmed that the number of detections has increased to 19 this Monday afternoon, and will open another free vaccine clinic in Limerick city.
“Nineteen cases of measles have been confirmed in Limerick city since the beginning of the year. There is also a case in Dublin linked to the outbreak. Nine cases have been children aged zero to five years, all unvaccinated, four of whom were admitted to hospital. Eleven cases have been aged between 15 and 34 years, all but two had no MMR vaccines, and four were admitted to hospital,” a spokesperson said.
The next vaccination clinic will take place next Monday, 10am to 1pm, at Barrack View Primary Care Centre, on Lord Edward Street.
The first confirmed cases were detected on January 3, and the outbreak was announced by the HSE on January 31.
“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 MMR vaccine you should contact your GP.”
The spokesperson said: “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.”
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.”